Do you ever think about the ten commandments as just an old-fashioned list of things you can’t do? A bunch of “thou shalt nots”? I'm giving the 10 commandments a closer look by blogging about one of them each Friday. Scroll down for the last six blogs on the topic.
Number six is: Thou shalt not kill. Well, if any commandment should be a "thou shalt not" it certainly should be this one! It should be obvious to everyone that killing someone is unacceptable--in any culture, in any walk of life, in any family, race, or creed. Killing isn't OK.
But, what about the more subtle ways of killing that we encounter each day?
Have you ever been in a meeting of any kind--parent-teacher meeting, volunteer committee meeting, church meeting, organizational project meeting, etc., and you propose a great idea you've been thinking about? In fact, you think it's the best solution around. It's just what the group you're working with needs and you're excited to share it! At the first silent moment in the discussion, you pipe up and make your suggestion. There's silence. Then someone shoots it right down. Boom! like a balloon shot with an arrow. You can feel the air going right out of you. They just killed your idea, and you're left feeling like they think you're clueless. Now, I'm not implying every idea is the greatest, but there are gentler ways of letting people down. That's when the Golden Rule comes to our aid. Among other things, the Golden Rule can save us from killing someone's inspiration.
If you're not familiar, Jesus gave us what is known as the Golden Rule when he said, "all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them" (Matthew 7:12). Sometimes people phrase it as, "do unto others." Basically, you should treat others as you would like to be treated. For instance, wouldn't it have felt a lot better, if when your idea was shot down, that someone would have let you down easy? They wouldn't have needed to lie, but they could have told you how much they appreciated your thoughts on the project--that sort of thing. Next time you're in that same sort of meeting and someone else makes a suggestion, you can put that rule into play. You can decide not to kill their inspiration, excitement, joy of taking part, and sincerely thank them--whether or not the idea can be implemented.
How you treat yourself can also come into play with this commandment. We should be kind to ourselves. There is a difference between self-aggrandizement and self-appreciation. To me, this commandment could be reworded, "don't kill your individuality by degrading or pushing aside the great qualities that you express so well!"
I've written it before, and it really applies here: You are uniquely important to God, Life itself. You are the proof that Life is present, that He is acting, knowing, and being. In the study of Christian Science, Mind is also a synonym for God. Mind ponders you, and reflects on you as His loved idea. Appreciating your good spiritual qualities really translates into loving God, who created you. Just think: You are part of the completeness of God's good universe as divine Life's idea.
In short, we can keep the sixth commandment by appreciating the goodness, uniqueness, individuality, and liveliness of everyone, including us! Keep the spirit of not killing by seeing each individual in God's creation as the important and eternally active idea of divine Life!
Just four more commandments left. See you next week for number 7!
I hope these insights will inspire readers to think more spiritually about themselves and the world around them!