Judy Brandon: Religion columnist
Three weeks ago the date was Oct. 10, 2010. That will not happen again until Oct. 10, 3010 when it will again be 10-10-10.
On that day I attended a church service in Rochester, Minn. The pastor opened the beginning of the service this way: “Today it is 10-10-10. I want to read to you God’s Perfect Ten.” Then the pastor read the Ten Commandants.
I have heard the Ten Commandments all my life. Since that day, I have contemplated what those powerful ten mean to me. I have no theology degree and am very far from knowing that much, but I have personalized the Ten Commandants to touch areas of my life that I struggle with.
ONE: “You shall have no other gods before Me.” The first refers to other gods in our lives, such as money, greed, pride, materialism, jobs, status, looks…if those are so important to me that I put God off to the side for those things, I have violated the first commandment.
TWO: “You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.” Pretty simple – no faith in or worship of statutes or likenesses of anything nature.
THREE: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.” To me that is not only swearing but defaming God’s name in any way. We can trivialize God by professing His name on Sunday and then living differently the rest of the week. Showing pride, unfriendliness, hatefulness, being condescending and being critical does not mesh with professing to be a Christian.
FOUR: “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” Personally I draw closer to God when I choose a time to worship and contemplate on God, and when I worship with other believers. I want to give God the reverence due His name. But should not He be foremost in our minds every day?
FIVE: “Honor your father and your mother.” Not just for kids and teens. Adults who still have parents that are living…this is for many of us.
SIX: “You shall not murder.” I know that means physical murder. To me it also means taking a life in the womb. But could that mean gossip … what about murdering a reputation?
SEVEN: “You shall not commit adultery.” We are not to envy someone else or someone else’s spouse, even envying in one’s mind. This is according to Jesus.
EIGHT: “You shall not steal.” Don’t steal from the store, the government…a friend. Don’t take one’s idea as your own. Don’t take credit for something you did not do. No room for cover-ups here.
NINE: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.” To me this is telling anything what is not true, but it goes much further. What about telling someone information in such a way that the final impression other than the truth is the result.
TEN: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.” I believe that means wanting so badly what others have, it beings to drive my emotions and consumers my life. We can be eaten up with the cravings that drive us and then God is no longer our focus.
God’s Perfect Ten. We will never be able to lead a perfect life in this life but we can have a more peaceful, loving, fulfilling and joyous life, bereft of clamor, strive and the heartache if we keep focused on God’s Perfect Ten.
God’s Perfect Ten is found in Exodus 20:2-17.
Judy Brandon is a Clovis resident. Contact her at: