This question will be covered in a short series of articles over the next few weeks. In my view, there are two types or classes of God’s laws. There are laws like the Ten Commandments and some of the teachings of Jesus that make clear what we should not do and others that direct how we should live our lives.
In addition, there are spiritual laws that determine how our lives will proceed in this world and the next based on how we live and behave now. Upcoming articles will focus on this group. The beauty and elegance of these laws is in their simplicity. There is no escape from their application as they operate automatically. Both sets of laws determine the degree to which we progress and evolve spiritually.
Below I have listed a summary of the Ten Commandments. How many of them can you recall before looking at the list? While perhaps the majority would say they know them, when was the last time they called them to mind and reflected upon them? How many people hold the commandments in constant memory to guide their actions on a daily basis?
The Ten Commandments
1. Thou shalt have no other gods before me.
2. Thou shalt not worship, bow down to, or serve idols.
3. Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.
4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
5. Honor thy father and thy mother.
6. Thou shalt not kill.
7. Thou shalt not commit adultery.
8. Thou shalt not steal.
9. Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.
10. Thou shalt not covet anything that is thy neighbor’s.
There are two additional commandments put forth by Jesus that are said to be the greatest of all commandments and encompass the Ten.
• “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.”
• “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.”
I think many of us would agree that violations of many of these commandments run rampant in today’s society. With increasing numbers of people turning away from religion, perhaps they have forgotten them or chosen to ignore them.
To me, the Ten Commandments along with love thy neighbor represent, in large part, a set of fundamental principles to govern and assure the integrity of human relationships. In this regard, I believe love thy neighbor stands above and drives compliance with Commandments 5-10. If we strive to treat all people with whom we come in contact the way we would like to be treated, then we would not do any of the things listed in 5-10.
Sadly, it seems that honesty and integrity are attributes that too many members of society have put aside in order to satisfy their physical and material desires. Little do they know what they have lost in doing so.
The Bible says love is fulfillment of the law. To love is our divine nature. If we let love guide everything we do in all of our interactions with others, then we will have fulfilled our spiritual imperative.