This isn't going to be a super interesting post about how I break the law by speeding through red lights, shoplifting, or stealing puppies from PetSmart. Instead, these are about the laws that are hard to follow because they aren't written on our hearts as strongly as they should be.
You see, I was taught some spiritual laws as a kid. I was taught to memorize the ten commandments back in second grade... but I don't know if anyone explained to me why.
But the more and more I read what Jesus actually said in the Bible, the more I realize how much he emphasizes following the ten commandments. So here's the fun, juicy news I know you all want to read:
I have broken every single one of the ten commandments. Only after breaking each of these laws of love have I realized how detrimental it is to go against them.
Let's talk about those commandments in 3...2...1.... GO
I am the Lord, Your God and you shall have no other gods besides me
It's important to know that there is a God. That's the first step to having a loving relationship with someone who is slow to mercy, rich in love, faithful to the end.
I think it was Fr. Mike Schmitz who said our hearts are idol making factories. We love putting anything we can control, get pleasure from, and like in front of loving God. For a lot of people I know, this can be football, a friend-group, movies, comfort, a significant other, etc. But all of these things will not satisfy the heart like God can. After 22 years of trying to replace God with an idol of my choice, I know. Just don't.
Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image
Same thing as the idol one, but on a heightened level. Don't make yourself a version of the golden calf cuz guess what? Anything made by your hands and intellect won't be as good as the love of the one true God made visible in Jesus Christ and other holy people (like the saints).
Thou shalt not take the name of they God in vain
If you love somebody, you know how hurtful it is when you say their name as if its a joke or in a demeaning manner. But even if you don't love God, you shouldn't say his name in vain because if He does get angry - he's flooded the world (#NoahsArk) and in Exodus, he even had the earth swallow some sinners whole to prove a point. Don't anger an all-powerful God.
Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy
This is more for our sake than anything else. Whenever I miss Sunday mass, I become an impatient and easily bothered person. Also, when I miss Sunday mass, I miss reconnecting with my faith family. As we all know, staying connected with family helps us love them better and support them in their struggles and triumphs.
Honor thy father and mother
Satan has done a really good job of attacking the family in today's society, so I know not every family is loving and supportive. But if you can, honor your father and mother with respect, at the very least. No matter what, ever person has dignity and is worth love, forgiveness, and mercy (even if its better when done from far away, or in small doses of time).
Thou shalt not kill
God does not rejoice in death, especially murder. You can break this commandment by holding intense rage and murder in your heart for someone else. An easy way to repent from breaking this sin is by choosing to love that person again and seeking forgiveness.
Thou shalt not commit adultery
It's not good to look at someone you find attractive and want to use their body for pleasure only. A person is more than their body and whatever goodness you can get from it.
Thou shalt not steal
Stealing someone else's property means you are stealing someone else's hard work. That isn't an act of love - that's an act of selfishness.
Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor
AGH don't lie, don't gossip, don't demean someone's reputation by calling them dumb, the "R" word, or something else just as mean. Just stick to the truth and be kind. These are the most loving options for you.
Thou shalt not covet your neighbor's house, wife, or goods
Coveting is a fancy term for "be jealous of." Jealousy is such a bummer because it makes you look at other people as threats to your happiness because they are too happy, too successful, too beautiful... whatever it is that makes you jealous of what they have that you apparently don't have enough of.
I know this is a longer post, but it's so important not to break these laws of love.
You might be tempted to, but don't fall into the trap! Take some deep breaths when you feel tempted, remember these laws, and follow them or you'll be stuck in a prison of unhappiness.
The good news is, even if you do find yourself in that prison, Jesus can help you break out.