These are the last two commandments, about God’s things.
1. You will have no one to gods before me.
2. You shall not have any graven images and bow down nor serve them.
3. You shall not take my name in vain.
4. Keep my Sabbath.
5. Honor your mother and your father.
6. Don’t murder.
7. Don’t commit adultery.
8. Don’t steal.
9. Don’t bear false witness against your neighbour.
10. Don’t covet your neighbours house, wife, ox, or any thing of his.
Number Nine: Don’t bear false witness against your neighbour. But what if your neighbour is a collegue of twenty-five years or a husband of thirty years? My biggest problem was determining how ‘white’ the lie was to determine my willingness to comply. I always knew there was a line – in all of them – but my deal was how far over could I comfortably go? And having a decent head on my shoulders I thought I could draw my own lines, changing them as required.
But I’m here to say it doesn’t work that way. A lie is a lie is a lie, no matter how you carve it. When I stopped ‘covering’ for anyone lock, stock and barrel, unexpected things happened. I was elevated to a different level of trust among not only among friends but also strangers and acquaintances.
One case in point was when I was desperate to find a doggie daycare for my new puppy beagle and found the perfect couple with a huge fenced yard three streets away. They loved dogs and already had a full slate but they took Brinkley in. Doggie daycare could add up fast but it was worth it. About the third time dropping off Brinkley, Barb asked me if I’d be interested in dog sitting while her and her husband went to the Opera together as they had standing ‘customers’ couldn’t turn them away and didn’t want to leave them alone. It would be the occasional Saturday and we could do a trade. Out of all her dog owners she said she trusted me the most and was her first choice. I was flabbergast. I just met her.
The final one Number Ten, Don’t covet your neighbours house, wife, ox, or any thing of his is subtle and sneaky. At first, I thought I passed this one with flying colors. I was never taken with fat bank accounts, slicks cars and exotic trips to keep pace with many of my counter parts. But what I did covet was their style. Whether it was their refreshing hairstyle, original shoes, or funky hat. I would calculate how long it would be before it landed in their giveaway pile. And if they’d be anything left. It was quite a while before I realized I already had my own unique style. And something no one could take away. I didn’t need to envy others.
In addition I noted that when I payed attention to these simple, but not easy, directions doors opened effortlessly while others closed – both with without my aid. At first I couldn’t believe how gracious (unforced) living could really be even though I got continually razzed, sometimes even ostracized, for not slogging along side everyone else. Prepare the soil so that God might plants His spirit deep with you.
So my only tip would be experiment with them yourself. And who knows how he might bring about an abundant harvest of his gifts. Especially to think I was only looking for my optimum chances of peace of mind in the moment.
In conclusion, I have found out that to the degree I paid attention to these ten basic instructions, the degree of comfort I had in my own skin (which is another way of saying being right with God). They came from Him and lead right back to him. The choice is ours whether we want contented peace and satisfaction with the life we’re given or not.
In addition I noticed another significant difference. When I practiced these ten directives, all kinds of doors opened effortlessly while others closed efficiently –without my aid or permission. At first I couldn’t believe how gracious (unforced) living could really be even though I got continually razzed, sometimes even ostracized, for not slogging along side everyone else.
When we prepare the soil, God plants His seed, His spirit, deep within us. And it‘s transforming. Experiment for yourself. You can always go back to your old way of life if you don’t find His way satisfying.
For me, I started out looking for the optimum chances of peace of mind and ended up getting an avalanche more than I ever could’ve imagined
So my advice? Give them a go and start living in the freedom of God.