the wrong way round

We get the 10 commandments the wrong way round if we think they are there to either please God or to ensure His blessingand giving us a more successful life. Instead, they show us what our response to His grace looks like.

  • We think: "If i don't covet, God (and other people) will be happy with me and it will help me to be satisfied with what I've got". It should be: "I recognise what God has done forme and given me.As a response to his grace, I don't covet."
  • We think: "If I don't lie, I'll be an honest person and God (and others) respect me, and I'll get into less problems in relationships". It should be:" The truth is that I am dishonest sinful but God has forgiven me and, as a response, I don't need to lie to protect my reputation before God or others"
  • We think: "If I don't steal I'll be a respectable person and wont go to jail". It should be: "I deserve nothing and God gives me everything, as a response to that grace I don't want to take what isn't mine"
  • We think: "If I don't commit adultery, my marraige will work out a lot better". It should be: "God has given my the amazing gift of a wife and, as a response, I want to be faithful to her".
  • We think: "If I don't murder, I'll function better as a member of society". It should be: "Jesus was mudered in my place, as a response to that, I show people mercy"
  • We think: "If I honour father and mother, my family life will go a lot smoother". It should be: "God has given me my family and as a response I want to put everything I can into that family rather than thinkning about what I can get out of it".
  • We think: "God has commanded that I don't do any work on the sabbath, so I'll work out exactly what is and isn't work so that I don't break that rule". It should be: "God didn't make man in order to fulfil this thing called "sabbath", He made the Sabbath for man as we need time to rest and focus on Him".
  • We think: "I wont use the lords name in vain so that He wont get angry, I'll use another word instead so it doesn't offend Him". It should be: "In response to God's grace towards me, I treat everything about Him with honour and respect"
  • We think: "I wont worship any other gods so that the real God is pleased with me". It should be: "As a response to God's love and grace towards me, He becomes the focus of my entire life and worship, and other things don't become gods".
Don't look at the 10 commandments as a list of how to be a good person. Don't look at this as a list of how to please God. Don't look at this as a list of how to ensure God's "blessing" in your life. God has already given us grace. He has brought us out of the slavery of sin. As a response, we love Him because because He first loved us (1 john 4:19). The more we realise that, the more that love results in a life that looks increasingly like the one described in the 10 commandments, and increasingly more like Jesus himself.