The Ten Commandments
God gave us commandments, or rules, to follow so we can live happier lives. The Ten Commandments apply just as much today as they did in the time of Moses. We would be wise not only to learn them, but to live them.
Where did they come from?
God gave His people the Ten Commandments in a section of the Bible called the Old Testament. At that time, a group of people led by the prophet Moses had just escaped slavery. When Moses prayed to God for help, God gave him the Ten Commandments, which we can still follow today.
“Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” —Exodus 20:3
God wants what is best for you. If you put something else before Him in your life, it’s harder for Him to bless you.
“Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image.” —Exodus 20:4
Anything you worship more than God is a “graven image.” Cars, clothes, sports, even our jobs are dangerous things to worship because they can go away. But God will never go away, and that’s why it’s best for us to only worship Him.
“Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.” —Exodus 20:7
This can mean using God’s name like a swear word, or it can mean saying you are a Christian but not living or acting like Jesus would want you to act.
“Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.” —Exodus 20:8–10
Sunday, or the Sabbath day, is a day we can all go to church, worship God, and learn how to be better people and Christians. Keeping it holy means doing our best to remember Him throughout the day.
“Honour thy father and thy mother.” —Exodus 20:12
It’s important to show our parents respect. This might look different for everyone, but we should always try to love and care for those who cared for us first.
“Thou shalt not kill.” —Exodus 20:13
A simple but important rule for anyone.
“Thou shalt not commit adultery.” —Exodus 20:14
Men and women make promises to each other when they are married. These promises are important, and breaking them causes deep sadness. Keeping those promises help men and women have happy marriages and happy lives.
“Thou shalt not steal.” —Exodus 20:15
It is important to God that His children are honest with each other. Taking anything that doesn’t belong to you is stealing, and is against His commandment.
“Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.” —Exodus 20:16
This one is about honesty. If you lie to someone, you are “bearing false witness,” and may cause harm to yourself and to others.
“Thou shalt not covet.” —Exodus 20:17
To covet means to be so jealous of something someone else has that you want it desperately. Coveting makes a person miserable and keeps them from putting God first. This commandment helps keep you from falling into this bad habit.