A Summary of the Big Ten

February 07, 2008

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” – Matthew 22:37-39

I believe the Ten Commandments are a great guide for successful living. The Big Ten are the ultimate foundation on which to base spiritual and ethical behavior. The first four commandments focus on our relationship with God. The last six deal with our relationship to our fellow man. In short, right spirituality leads to right living with our fellow man.

The first four are: 1) put God first, 2) have no idols, 3) respect His name, and 4) have a weekly Sabbath. The last six are: 5) honor your father and mother, 6) don’t commit murder, 7) don’t commit adultery, 8) don’t steal, 9) don’t lie, and 10) don’t covet your neighbor’s possessions.

These are stated so negatively, like a bunch of don’ts. And when someone says, “Don’t,” something within us makes us want to do it. Jesus summarized them positively. I like His best.

He said, “Love God with all your heart, soul, and mind,” (the first four in a nutshell). And he said “Love your neighbors as yourself,” (the last six, in five words). Wow! The perfect summary of The Big Ten.

Both versions, The Big Ten or the Big Two, teach us how to be in right relationship with God and right relationships with our fellow man. When we get right with God, we’ll be right with our fellow man.