What I’m Thinking: The Ten Commandments


The Ten Commandments are admirably straightforward and succinct. They should be easy to follow – but are they? Sometimes I think not, but on the other hand, perhaps we do better than I assume.

Here’s a transcript:

I’m thinking this week about the Ten Commandments. You’ll find them in the twentieth chapter of Exodus. They’re about as clear and concise a description of God’s will and purposes for humanity as you’ll find anywhere in the Scriptures.

But I’ll confess to you, I’m actually finding it very difficult to think about the Ten Commandments.

You see, on the one hand, I have this frustration: this notion that the Ten Commandments, as simple and understandable as they are, have been very difficult for human beings to follow and to fulfill over the centuries.

Yet at the same time, I also have to say, well, you know, we, most of us, don’t go out killing one another or stealing from one another on a regular basis. Most parents are honored by their children – if not to the extent that the parents would like, at least to the extent that the children understand it.

So, on balance, what to think about the Ten Commandments?

Well, I guess it’s this: that as simple as they may be presented, I think the fulfilling remains not so simple. It remains both complex in understanding what we should do, but also challenging in actually summoning the will (and in some cases the resources) to do it.

The Ten Commandments: Deceptively simple.

That’s what I’m thinking (or trying to think). I’m curious to hear about what you’re thinking. Leave me your thoughts in the comment section below; I’d love to hear from you.

Update on October 2, 2017

This reflection was recorded before a man started shooting people in Las Vegas, Nevada, late at night on October 1st. It makes my statement that “most of us don’t go around killing each other” sound naive, even callous. It is certainly naive, but definitely not callous. I am in no way inured to horrors. 

I am relieved that, in a society where the instruments of death are easy to obtain, murder remains relatively rare. Last night’s shootings force me once again to ask: how can we make it harder to kill? How can we make it easier to keep the Sixth Commandment.

Categories What I'm Thinking | Tags: , , | Posted on October 1, 2017

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