Some of the most important lessons we learn about healthy relationships come from the 10 commandments in Exodus (20:1-17). It is interesting to note that they open with “the Lord your God” (20:2) and end with “your neighbour” (20:17) and the first four commandments address the relationship of people to God and the last six address the relationship of people to people.
When Jesus was asked which commandment is the most important, he basically said, “Love God and love others as yourself.” Despite Jesus’ words, some people today try to trivialize the 10 commandments. While practicing them does not save us, we are saved to practice them in our relationships.
So, here are 10 things to practice in our relationship with God, self and others. They are based on the 10 commandments.
#1: Live For One
In a world of many gods and no god and individuals being their own god, followers of Jesus live for the audience of one. So we gradually overcome our desire for people’s applause, acceptance and approval and live to please the one God who deserves our all and who refuses to share his glory with others.
#2: We Are God-Created
It doesn’t make sense for the God-created to attempt to create God in any shape or form. Whatever the reason, we are called to experience people and creation as created by God, never to create gods out of them. In fact, our experience of creation should only compel us to appreciate God and his goodness.
#3: Always A Heart Issue
There is much more to using God’s name irreverently, superstitiously, deceivingly and flippantly than just using it alongside of profane language, smooth talk, angry outbursts and swear words. Often our tendency is to focus on the fruit of this problem rather than the root of it. Remember, disrespecting God is always a heart issue.
#4: Resting Regularly As Resistance To Be God Or Slave
Sabbath simply means to “cease” or to “stop” from working. While our society tells us to keep on consuming and accomplishing and performing like slaves, practicing Sabbath allows us to break this restless cycle and focus on God and his work and all his creation. Sabbath is a gift that needs to be received and entered and celebrated. If we intend to resist being God and resist living like slaves, we cannot do without practicing it.
#5: Value Your Family
Honor and respect begins at home. God has established families and placed us in families not so that we trivialize it and be indifferent to it. A family’s value is not based on what it can do for us. But, because it is already God’s gift to us.
#6: Life Is Sacred
All life is sacred, especially human life. Protecting it is important to God. As God’s representatives who are made in his image, we are called to a ministry of reconciliation and care. Remember, to violate another human being is to violate God.
#7: See God’s Image In Others
When we value others as God’s image bearers, we will be less inclined to use or abuse them for our own benefits. And we will think twice before we objectify, sexualize, dehumanize and devalue people for our own depraved pleasures.
#8: Use With Consent
Be aware of what is yours and what is not. This addresses not just stealing things from others, but also stealing praise (taking the credit for others work) and stealing reputation (contributing to a gossip or slander).
#9: Know The Truth, Spot A Lie
If you know the truth (Jesus), you can spot a lie. Be the first to spot your own exaggerations, white lies and half-truths. Including gossip, slander and malice.
#10: Water Your Own Grass
Don’t complain, grumble, compare and desire what others have. If you think the grass is greener on the other side it only means that the grass you are standing on needs to be watered.
May God continue to give us the grace to thrive in our relationships.