About Moms, Friends and Pastimes!
by Debbie Watson
In Always More than Meets the Eye we started looking at God's amazing Ten Commandments. God gave us these commandments because He loves us. When Jesus was teaching on the mountain He said: "Remember that as long as heaven and earth last, not the least point nor the smallest detail of the Law will be done away with - not until the end of all things" (Mt 5:18). The Law is the 10 Commandments. This means that the Commandments were not only for Moses and his people but are for us too, since earth is still around and heaven is for all eternity.
One day a Sadducee asked Jesus: "What is the greatest commandment?" Jesus replied: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength. The second most important commandment is this: Love your neighbour as you love yourself" (Mk 12:30-31). Jesus reminds us with these words that the great Ten Commandments are commandments of love. Jesus explains to us that the way to obey the Ten Commandments is to do everything they instruct us to do with love.
The first 3 Commandments showed us how we should love God. For example, the third Commandment tells us to keep the Sabbath day holy. That doesn't mean that we must just sit and rest and do absolutely nothing. It means that we must give this day to God. We must think about our Father, think of all He has done and given us, and try to grow to love Him more and more through reading His Word and praying. The remaining 7 Commandments are all about loving our neighbour as ourselves. Let us look at what our Father tells us in Commandments 4, 5, 6 & 7.
The fourth Commandment says "Honor your father and your mother". Your parents are the ones that God chose for you. God knows what He is doing so you must respect and honor what He chooses for you. Your parents love you and they teach you how to love others. They are the hands of God in your daily life. They take care of you and provide for you. They are also responsible for teaching you how to behave in the eyes of God so that you can live forever with them and the Father in heaven. When you are disrespectful and disobedient to your parents you offend God who has chosen them for you and you for them.
But that is not all. Like I have said before, there is always more to God and the things of God than meets the eye. When your parents entrust you to a teacher or someone else to take care of you, the respect that you owe to your parents is extended to others who care for you. So when you think: "Oh I am obedient to my parents and do as they say" but you behave poorly at school or in the care of others, you are still breaking this commandment. Remember that this is all about loving others as yourself and treating them the way you would like to be treated. If you do not, you break the spirit of the commandments, which is what Jesus warned us against.
Just like the fourth Commandment has more to it than we may at think at first, the fifth Commandment does too. It says: "You shall not kill". Most of us go through life thinking that this at least is one commandment that we have not broken. When we are doing an Examination of Conscience and get to the fifth commandment we breath a sigh of relief - we are safe on this one! Yet it is probably the one commandment that we break almost every day! Curious? Read on.
When we speak about killing, we should not only be thinking about taking the life of someone. We are known by our name and by who we are. When we gossip about someone we are really killing that person's name and their reputation. And when we say bad things about what people do or how they live, we are killing the identity of that person. Jesus teaches us to always look at ourselves first before we think of criticizing others. So next time you want to join in some gossip about someone try not too. Look at yourself rather and see if for that day you can behave in a way that no-one can say anything bad about you.
Commandment number 6 says: "You shall not commit adultery". By now you probably know that I am going to say that there is more to this commandment than simply married adults having love affairs. "Do not commit adultery" also has significance for young unmarried people like you. It means that you must always remember that God lives in you. Your body is the address you give God while you are alive in this world. You should not do any harm to that home. You must keep your thoughts clean and your behaviour with people must show respect for the presence of God in you and the presence of God in them.
When we talk about keeping our thoughts clean, we mean that we should not go around reading books that have sex and bad language in them. In the same way, we should not watch movies or play computer games that are not clean. Remember that anything you can see, God can see better. When you read bad books, watch unclean films and pictures and play dirty games you are opening the door for the devil to come and keep you company instead of God. And you know what? God is an easy houseguest compared to the devil. God wants what is best for you; the devil wants what is best for him. So your choice of guest should not be difficult.
"You shall not steal". AH! That is easy. This means that you should not take something that doesn't belong to you. Have you found a pen and pocketed it saying "Finders keepers"? Some kid is probably looking for that pen. One of the places that kid will look is in the lost property because he hopes that an honest person would have found it and taken it there. Are you that honest person? Jesus wants you to be.
Today it is very easy to steal. How many of us don't have copied computer games at home? Or perhaps have not asked our friend to copy a music CD? The Church teaches that everyone should be able to own property without others helping themselves to it without permission. When you copy tapes, videos, games and CDs you are taking money away from the person who made those things. If you are buying pirated videos you are stealing. It doesn't matter if you think that actors and musicians have so much money that they can do without your bit. That money is theirs and it is up to them to do with it what they want. How do you know that they would not give it to a charity and do God's work in that way? So you see, you may not take what is not yours, much in the same way as you don't want anyone to take what is your things.
Look out for the last three of the 10 Commandments next time!
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