Thursday, 20 January 2022

Alternative to the Ten Commandents

IN a world which at times seems to be going mad, people very often wonder what they can do to make things better, to restore a little sanity and order and decency to domestic and public life.

It’s a little late for more new year resolutions, but how about commandments?

The traditional Christian answer would be to point to the Ten Commandments and they are still the ultimate recipe for action.

But here are 10 slightly more specific suggestions, not in order of importance.

I came across these many years ago and still check myself against them occasionally. (I am a Christian so for “church” substitute synagogue/mosque/
temple/gudwara etc as
appropriate.)

1. Don’t bow down to the idols that some insist that we worship: “diversity”, “inclusiveness” and other such abstractions. God told us to love our neighbour as ourselves and that is enough. At the same time, refuse to worship the gods of money and power and “cool”.

2. Make conscious, appropriate references to God — people of faith need to be audible in the world. Avoid speaking of any holy thing in a facetious, over-pious or irreverent way.

3. Go to church each Sunday and pray daily; let the worship of God and fellowship of faith do its work on you. Let the enemy see our churches filled.

4. Care for and defend our families. Do not neglect our parents in their time of sickness and old age. Help our children to learn, by our own gracious and sincere behaviour, the respect they owe to us as their parents.

5. Reject sexual liberation in all its guises. Do not even think about fornication and adultery. Genuinely respect the opposite sex.

6. Be consistently honest and honourable in all business and social transactions, even when it costs. Don’t be tempted, even at the office stationery level. Just do it, don’t talk about it.

7. Be truthful and charitable in speaking of other people, looking for whatever good you can find in them. Be encouraging rather than discouraging on principle. Avoid gossip.

8. Be content with what we have in our family and our faith, make ourselves happy with the homes we have to return to and do not covet what the Joneses have. Have ambitions but make them unselfish.

9. Try to be content with our lot more generally and trust in God to deliver His justice — he will. Take only what comes our way, the knocks too, and use what we have been given generously, even a little recklessly. See need and respond to it (see
number 1.)

10. Above even contentment, learn to rejoice, always, in the life we are given — there is never any use in holding a grudge against life but a glad heart helps in so many struggles.

Henley would so transformed as to be unrecognisable if we were all trying to live like this, with no need for political action or huge budgets.

But I write as a Christian — what would your Ten Commandments be and would you live them?

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