I have a pretty diverse group of acquaintances and friends… both in real life and online. Given the diversity, you can bet there are extreme differences when it comes to the topic of faith.
There are friends of mine who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist… even atheist and agnostic.
I never try and impart my Christian beliefs on anyone else that doesn’t actively ask for it. I don’t have the confidence or, in my mind, the knowledge to be effective in that area. What I will do is try and live my faith so that others can see it.
Living my faith, for starters, means following the Ten Commandments as laid out in the Bible.
I’ve been thinking about the Ten Commandments this week. Mainly, how they’re good, basic rules to follow for anyone… even if you are atheist, agnostic, or a believer in almost any other religion.
Sure, a non-Christian will have no use for Commandments 1-3:
- You shall have no other gods before Me.
- You shall not make for yourself an idol in the form of anything.
- You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.
But… I would argue Commandments 4-10 would help lead to a good life no matter who you are or what you believe:
4. Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. (Even if you don’t call it the Sabbath, one day of rest per week isn’t a bad idea, right?)
5. Honor your father and your mother.
6. You shall not murder.
7. You shall not commit adultery.
8. You shall not steal.
9. You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house, wife, or property.
I’m not schooled enough in other religions but I bet many have similar principles or guidelines that are good to follow even if you don’t believe in everything that religion has to offer.
It’s these similarities that I believe we should focus on… and not our differences.
What about you? What do you think?
Exodus 20: 1-17 NIV
And God spoke all these words:
2 “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.
3 “You shall have no other gods before me.
4 “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.5 You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, 6 but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.
7 “You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.
8 “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. 9 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10 but the seventh day is a sabbath to the Lord your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. 11 For in six days, the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.
12 “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the Lord your God is giving you.
13 “You shall not murder.
14 “You shall not commit adultery.
15 “You shall not steal.
16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.
17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”