Monday, February 14, 2011

10 steps to a happier life.

I hoped you don't mind that i conned you into reading about the ten commandments. If you dont mind, then read on..... If your offended in any way then fell free to click the "x" in the upper right corner. I'm not an expert in the field, but I've studied some and developed the following interpretations and opinions.

1. You shall have no other gods before me.
    Literally, back then, people worshipped everything. Trees, the Sun, the stars, other people....everything!!
    To me this means you should never put anything between you and God. Things like wealth, fame, new clothes, shoes or other people...God should be at the top of your priorities.

2. You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
     Again, literally, back then, people carved likenesses of whatever it was they chose to worship. A cow, or a fish, the sun etc...
     To me, this commandment stresses that nothing on earth has any true value. It's OK to have stuff for yourself as long as you don't let the acquisition of "things/idols" take the place of God.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain.
     A lot of people think this means you shouldn't say a certain word, which I won't repeat because my wife tells me to try not to offend people with my blogs. That just seems silly though, to use a commandment to ban a word.
     Here's what I think. I believe that God is warning us not to use our Christianity to make us feel superior to others. I think "taking the Lord's name" refers to becoming a Christian. This is a tough commandment to follow sometimes, I'm always a Christian, but I don't brag about it or expect anyone to be impressed. You shouldn't have to tell someone that you believe in God. They'll know just by how you act and live your life. Sometimes I see people praying before they eat at a restaurant. That doesn't bother me, but even Jesus said when you pray you should be alone. If you give thanks before you eat because your thankful, that's fine. If you're doing it to impress the other people in the restaurant, then I believe you're taking the Lords name in vain.

4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
    At one time, people seriously wouldn't work on the seventh day of the week. Back then you could get in trouble or even be killed for working on the seventh day. Jesus said that if your ox is in the mud on the sabbath you work and get it out. I think this commandment just means remember that God gave you a day to rest and you should be thankful for that. God knows that my "ox" gets in the "mud" a lot. I don't always rest on the seventh day, but I always remember that a day of rest is a gift from God.

5. Honor your father and mother.
     This is an easy one. It means treat your parents with respect. I am fortunate that I have good parents so this is simple for me. In todays world though, I see parents that make this hard for their sons and daughters to do....of course, the commandments weren't written for children to follow, they were written for adults. Any adult should be able to treat their parents with respect, no matter what kind of childhood the had. It just requires forgiveness.

6. You shall not murder.
     Simple enough. Don't commit murder. Some people read this as "you shall not kill". I don't think it's a sin to kill though, in self defense, or as a punishment for murder. It's pretty complicated if you think about it, if a guy is trying to kill you and you kill him that's not murder. If you climb up on a water tower and shoot someone at random, killing them, that IS murder.
     Also, if you think this refers to dolphins, or mussels, or a deer, well, I think you're confused. (me being nice)

7. You shall not commit adultery.
     Um, don't sleep with someone who is married to someone else. There's plenty of fish in the sea, as they say, move on....

8. You shall not steal.
     Again, an obvious one. If it's not yours, leave it alone. Stealing something is a good example for the second commandment. When you steal, you're putting that stolen object between you and God.

9. You shall not bare false witness against your neighbor.
     Some people will say, "you shall not lie." Silliness, everyone lies constantly, mostly to ourselves. If your wife asks you if her butt looks big, and it does.....lie! Nothing wrong with a lie if told properly, I think. However, you should never lie with the intention of hurting someone.

10. You shall not covet your neighbors house; you shall not covet your neighbors wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbors.
      COVET: to desire without regard to the rights of others. I think this means you shouldn't dislike or discredit other people because they have more stuff than you. Or because they have something you wish you had. If your neighbor has a nice looking donkey, you should be happy for him and maybe even tell him about it. If you want better stuff, work harder to get it. Just remember, it's only stuff. Material things rot away, but your soul is eternal. Take care of your soul.

In Matthew, Jesus broke these commandments down to just two commandments. The first four mean, "love the Lord your God, with all your heart, and all your soul and all your mind". The last six mean, "Love your neighbor as yourself". Find a way to keep those two and you'll be fine.

Thanks for reading this. I've been told not to blog about religion, but this particular blog has been growing in my mind and I just wanted to get it down. I fully understand that not everyone thinks the way I do, in fact, probably no one thinks the way I do. My wife says my mind is unique (her being nice, I think). I also want to apologize if I've somehow offended someone, I honestly don't try to push my religious beliefs onto other people and I'd rather other people didn't try to force theirs onto me.


  1. Well said; daddy would be proud ;)

  2. Great post Bart. We think very much a like on the ten commandments.

    I don't see anything wrong with blogging about religion. This is your forum to express your thoughts and beliefs. People blog about politics all the time, which can be every bit as controversial. I have a rule that I don't discuss sex, religion, or politics at work and I don't discuss politics at family gatherings, but on my blog I say what I please.