The Decalogue, popularly known as The Ten Commandments are a set of biblical principles pertaining to morality and devotion that function as the foundation stone to Christian ethical life. For most Christians, The Ten Commandments are a reference guide to fundamentals of Christian living and accepted behavioral patterns to create a harmonious social life.
The very familiarity of these laws has
made us undervalue them as rules set forth by the Almighty, with his own mighty
Do The Ten Commandments hold value in today’s times?
Though the Ten
Commandments are a rigid directive from God our father, and need to be followed
till the end of the world, many controversies and misinterpretations exist
regarding the laws and its feasibility in following them in today’s world.
commandments are divided into two sections. Commandments 1 to 6 direct us to
shape our relationship with the Almighty; commandments 7 to 10 on the other
hand tell us about our relationship with one another. These commandments were
instructions from God to the people of Israel as to how they can remain close
to Him and escape His mighty wrath.
see that all throughout the Exodus the people of Israel have disobeyed every commandment
from idol worship to murder to coveting. Very few remained true to His laws and
were deemed eligible to enter the ‘’PROMISED LAND’’.
us assess the rules set forth by God and how they are relevant in our life
The Ten Commandments
I am the Lord your God, You shall have no other Gods before me
The first commandment holds
its privileged position due to reasons manifold. It isn’t as simple as it sounds.
One must not consider it just as a call to reproach all other Gods or idols and
honour only our Father in heaven.
Worship or preservation of self/material things, in effect puts
us in the level of prioritizing other Gods or objects other than our Almighty
God. Placing the desires of our flesh, career, dreams, relations, life etc. in
the forefront, or giving importance to anything else that occupies a major part
of our heart, mind and soul immediately make us vulnerable to disobeying the
first commandment, as we are idolizing these desires more than our God.
No other ‘’Gods’’, except God our Father should be a way of life to attain Heaven.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain
second commandment is unfortunately treated most irreverently by present day Christians.
We so often tend to make exclamations as ‘My God’, ‘Oh My God’, ‘By God’ etc.
without realizing that we are actually going against the second commandment
given to us by God.
Orthodox Jewish custom, God’s name was too holy that it could not even be
written down, let alone said. The reverence associated with this commandment
was too stringent during olden times.
Philippians 2:12 says we should work out our salvation with
fear and trembling.
Jesus’ name should command appropriate reverence and not be used as an exclamation or lament as and when we please. The son of God is our Saviour. He has sacrificed His life on the cross for our salvation. We must therefore attach utmost reverence to the Name of God and His Son.
3. Remember the Sabbath day and keep it Holy
A day of rest and faithfulness to God
will ensure that you have a week full of blessings and gains to look forward to!
we function the other way round. We invent excuses to not keep the Sabbath day
Holy. We skip church rituals citing reasons which are worldly and seemingly unavoidable.
We conveniently forget days of obligations. The sins associated with the 3rd
commandment are many.
is the reason behind our existence .Everything we were, are, and will be, is
entirely because of the fact that God gave us life and breath. When we fulfill
our worldly desires on Sabbath Day, we are indirectly sending a message to the
Almighty that He is no longer prominent in our lives.
one must remember not to refrain from doing good on Sabbath Day.
In Matthew 12, When Jesus heals a man with the withered hand, he says, “Which one of you who has a sheep, if it falls into a pit on the Sabbath, will not take hold of it and lift it out? Of how much more value is a man than a sheep!
4. Honour your father and your mother
Being the first commandment which talks about
our relationship with one another, honoring people is a basic characteristic
that has to come naturally, irrespective of any laws or rules of a religion or a
someone in high esteem, or giving them the respect they deserve comes only when
we can humble ourselves and know that we are bound to make mistakes, and there
are others who can guide and correct us in the process.
one wonders if one must honour one’s parents even if they commit wrongful deeds,
are abusive, and are prone to commit sin themselves. Through Jesus, God shows
us that suffering and humiliation for the sake of God will reap rich rewards in
the Kingdom of Heaven.
your parents irrespective of their ill deeds and God will shower his abundant
blessings on us. This should be our mantra in life. The 4th
commandment is the only one that comes with a promise attached to it.
Ephesians 6: 1-3 tells us- “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.“Honor your father and mother”—this is the first commandment with a promise: “so that it may be well with you and you may live long on the earth.”
5. You Shall not kill
All religions and cultures list murder as wrong.
Taking the life of a person cannot be justified under any circumstance and
should be condemned outright.
a person puts us in a position of judging another and taking away the life that
God has gifted him on earth.
throws us into the hateful territory of hell, and snatches from us the prospect
of entering the kingdom of God. We must understand here that all our hatred
towards each other has already been taken upon by the Saviour and was submitted
on the cross. Every act of killing is a nail that pierces the heart of Jesus
again and again.
Murder is akin to hatred, which is the opposite of love. God has asked us to love one another just as we love ourselves.
6. You shall not commit adultery
This commandment was expanded upon by Jesus to include lustful
desire towards a man or a woman other than your husband/wife as equal to
committing the very act of adultery itself. All kinds of sexual sins can lead
us to destruction and hell.
kinds of desires of the flesh, pornography, nudity, unholy relations etc. after
marriage falls within the sin of adultery and must be seen with grave
seriousness. God meant the intimacy between a man and a woman as something pure
and deep than any other human bond on earth. Abusing this through unholy
desires can cause us to disobey the sixth commandment and bring destruction to
is no short cut to this law of God. Either obey or face the fire of hell.
Mathew 5:28- But I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust has already committed adultery with her in his heart.
7. You shall not steal
We must be honest human beings in all areas of
our lives. Theft does not just involve stealing things that are tangible. It
involves all kinds of dishonesty right from wasting time at work to even
bringing home stuff that are freely available at your workplace for personal
There is no justification even for the smallest of things that we decide to take, if it does not belong to us.
8. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbour
Another very grave form of dishonesty that we
are prone to commit in our daily lives is bearing false witness or lying.
omission of facts to protect our name, hiding facts to protect sinners, spoiling
the name of another for our own benefit etc. are all within the category of
sinning against this commandment.
All kind of manipulation of facts that lead us to lie should be dealt with utmost care in order to attain the kingdom of heaven.
9. You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife
The grass is always greener on the other side.
God provides the best for us, and as children of God, we must be satisfied with
what we have. Coveting your neighbor’s wife or husband is tantamount to
committing adultery, and hence we are breaking two commandments at the same time.
kinds of desires of the flesh are pushing us to idolizing lust, which is one of
the seven cardinal sins, and must be avoided like plague. One must exercise self-control by controlling lustful passions
and channeling this energy for the betterment of others.
2 Timothy 2:22- Shun youthful passions and pursue righteousness, faith, love, and peace, along with those who call on the Lord from a pure heart.
10. You shall not covet your neighbour’s goods
the result of jealousy over someone else’s achievements and possessions.
Coveting others’ goods is the direct result of not being satisfied with what
you have. As God’s people we must be happy with what He provides, and practice
gratitude to praise Him.
Mathew 6:33 says- But strive
first for the kingdom of Godand his righteousness, and all
these things will be given to you as well.
The 10 commandments can be summed up into two main
“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and
with all your soul and with all your mind.
You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two
commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37-40).
Ten Commandments in Today’s perspective
said, “If you want to enter
into life, keep the commandments” (Matthew 19:17) we
must all focus on obeying the rules set forth by God for His chosen people.
points out five of the 10 Commandments
murder, adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, and honoring your
father and mother as the most relevant commandments to follow.
follow the Ten Commandments require huge control on your desires and mental
faculties. Many a time we are in a dilemma as to whether a commandment can be
applied to a particular circumstance if it has a negative impact on the people
times, we see people steal when they are desperately hungry and poor; people
fall into unholy relations because they are struggling to get out of abuse and
accusations within a marriage; children cannot respect parents as they live in
sin. Such situations cause a lot of confusion and heartache.
we apply the code of Law in these circumstances? Aren’t we bound to make flawed
friends, when in doubt and misery; when life throws you into realms of self
doubt, temptations, despair and dissatisfaction, we must look towards Jesus as
the greater authority, and seek His will in being guided towards a life of
purity and honour.
good Lord bless you all and keep you free from sin.