Minimums – Maximums
When I was an expectant mother, like many expectant mothers, I became very concerned about the responsibility of my condition and was particularly conscious of my diet. Expectant mothers start taking note of the nutritional value of what we are eating. We want maximum nutrition for our unborn child.
Multi-vitamins provide the minimum daily requirements needed for a healthy life. If we take a vitamin we often believe it doesn’t matter what we eat because we are getting our “minimum requirement” through the vitamin.
There are people who treat the Ten Commandments as a daily minimum requirement. They think if they obey the “Basic 10” nothing else matters.
The Ten Commandments are not a list of minimums, but maximums. They teach us of respect and right relationship with God, respect for God’s graciousness and holiness, respect for blessings which God bestows. There is also a maximum concern for our neighbor—their life, property, good name and even their marriage.
It’s too easy to minimize the maxims in our life. God gave Moses the Ten Commandments for us to keep in response to the covenant. Let us live in faithful response.
—Rev. Donna Heflin
- What standard of living are the Ten Commandments for you? Do you find them restrictive or liberating in your life?
- How do Ten Commandments written centuries ago apply to life today? Do they speak to society outside the Judeo-Christian community?
- Which of the Ten Commandments are you guilty of minimizing? Why?
- When have you faithfully responded to God? Reflect on this.
How Do I Act?
- List some people who have helped you understand your covenant and response to God. Think about how they have helped you. Think about using some of those characteristics in your own dealings with others.
- Take time to read and reflect on the meaning of the Ten Commandments for your life. How are they good news for you? You may want to read about the Ten Commandments online. If you are interested, look into other religions to see if there are commandments to live by within them.
- Tell someone about the good news of God’s work in your life. If you are hesitant, think about what to say beforehand. We may feel uncomfortable because we are unprepared when opportunities arise.
- Choose one of the Ten Commandments to work on this week. Keep it posted in a prominent place. Tell someone else what you are doing and brainstorm with them what you might do to make your week helpful.