We all strive for simplicity, for a way of living directed by a fair and just code of conduct, applicable for most people and that could sustain the many and complex relations amongst people in an effective, simplistic and ever lasting manner.
In our relentless efforts to formulate such and ideal Code of Conduct, we have created, establish and maintain a magnitude of laws, rules, regulations, contracts and authoritarian structures to control every decision and possible relationship of mankind. Thus, an attempt to control and maintain justice in all activities of man, from simple actions, such as buying bread and milk; to more involved matters such as, purchasing a house, to complicated matters, such as getting married or starting a business venture.
Unfortunately, these “improvement activities” quite often only is a strategy to avoid personal responsibility for our own choices and actions. A means to avoid a personal Code of Honour and a Code of Ethics. In the end, we could declare innocence, declare victim of.. and claim to be manipulated by something beyond our control, things such as the bill of rights, the constitution, the law, society, culture, rules, the church, …etc.
It is our privilege, right and God given command to establish and maintain a personal Code of Honour and Ethics, regardless any additional laws and regulations devised by man. We have the right to the a freedom of choice as long as we are prepared to take responsibility for such choices made and actions taken. Fortunately for most of us, millions of people work hard, determined and with great effort each day to restrict our choices to live according to our personal Code of Conduct and Ethics. But instead of being upset about it, we are immensely grateful to them and even support them in their efforts. Because they are doing it for the common good of society. All this, just because we do want and demand freedom (proven by revolutions throughout human history), but we don’t want to accept the responsibility that goes along with it.
All that we actually need is just 10 basic rules of life, rules that forms the foundation of our personal Code of Conduct and Ethics. So very simple, but yet so immensely difficult to implement, due to our reluctance to accept responsibility for our own thoughts, choices and actions. BUT… we still want to exercise our freedom of choice, and when things do go wrong, we also want the luxury to blame someone or something else in order to exempt us from all responsibilities.
Our Creator – in his Divine Wisdom – provided us with 10 basic “laws” that – when integrated as an integral part of your personal Code of Conduct and Ethics – makes life a whole lot simpler and less complicated to deal with. Therefore, let us review the 10 commandments as “translated” into today’s terms and you will see that it was and still is as valid today, as it was when it was first written down.
The 10 commandments stand today as the greatest document of all times with regards to individual freedom and personal responsibility that was ever recorded, and probably will be recorded. Each of the 10 commandments is addressing the individual as a self-controlling person, responsible for his own thoughts, words and acts. Each of them recognize liberty and freedom as an inherent part of man and focus on individual responsibility, within the parameters of group accountability.
Lets analyze, interpret and explore the 10 commandment and it’s applicability for our lives today as recorded in the Scriptures – Exodus 20:1-17, King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769…
1And God spake all these words, saying, 2I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. 3Thou shalt have no other gods before me. 4Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth.
This commandment tells us (every individual) to reject a multitude of different gods (a paganistic religion), recognize your own worth as a unique human being (created in the image of our Divine Creator) and subjected to no power, other than that of God, the Creator, Almighty and Final Judge (i.e. a believe in the Divine).
5Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; 6And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments.
Instruct us to form no image of abstract rightness (illusion and false symbols of power and justice), but to direct our reverence towards the divine TRUTH. The TRUTH that ultimately come to us, when God came down to earth and lived amongst men in human form, as Jesus, setting an example of how God expects us to conduct our life’s in His honour (i.e. to serve the Divine).
7Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.
Instruct us not to speak frivolously of our God, the Creator and Judge. To sustain knowledge and respect for the ultimate TRUTH (forgiveness, faith, hope and love) is of first and last importance (alpha and omega) and should always be taken VERY..VERY seriously. Thus, to be humble before and have respect for the Creator and all that He has created (i.e. to respect the Divine).
8Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. 9Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work: 10But the seventh day is the sabbath of the LORD thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou, nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant, nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates: 11For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the sabbath day, and hallowed it.
This commandment tells us to devote some time (at least 1 day of seven) to reflect on those things of eternal value and our own spirituality as the divine reflection (image) of God in each and everyone of us. Therefore, devote some time and energy to align our own personal will (life), with the Will of God the Provider and Maintainer of all creation (i.e. align to the Will of the Divine).
12Honour thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee.
It recognizes the family as the primary and most important human relationship of strength and establish the parent’s authority over their children, to set an EXAMPLE, to teach and show their children the way to fit into and sustain a harmonious society (i.e. respect for the family).
13Thou shalt not kill.
This commandment stresses and emphasize the sanctity of all human life… our right to live, which is a right that never must be violated by any another human being under any circumstances (i.e. respect for life, …all life).
14Thou shalt not commit adultery.
This establish the most important principle of human interaction – the inviolability of promises given by persons to one another, to be upheld by both and the double sanctity of marriage, which is the basis of the family and ultimately the strength of the community, society or nation (i.e. devotion to a promise).
15Thou shalt not steal.
Recognizes the right of the individual to own possessions – possessions that we worked for and earned it in a honourable manner (i.e. respect for property and ownership).
16Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
Recognize free speech and our control over our utterances and our responsibility for the truth (i.e. respect for the truth).
17Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.
Again it recognize the right of ownership. Not even in thought should a person violate this rights of others (i.e. purity of thoughts).
The 10 commandments is an amazing set of statements ever written, BUT was it to revolutionary for the ancient Israelite’s to accept it, they wanted (and eventually insisted) on an earthly king to take responsibility, rather than following a personal code of conduct. An even to this day we still want a “king” that can rule and decide what is best for us. Thus, effectively restricting our own inner power and freedom, empowering other people to take responsibility on our behalf and place our trust in others to keep us save from harm and to remain honest.