The Ten Commandments are often looked upon negatively because they tell us what not to do. The sound like restrictions on our freedom. Everything has a price, though. To love, you must give up hate. To hate, you must give up love. To read this, you must give me $2.
The Ten Commandments are more saying, “thou shall not hate” then they are saying anything else. If God is love, He needs to teach us what love is and what it is not. Parents do not start out by telling their children what to do as much as telling them what not to do. Yes, they do both, but I find myself saying no much more than telling my children what to do. Maybe it’s just me.
The first three commandments are about loving God, the one Who is Love. We cannot have love if we do not embrace it, accept it, and spend time with it. Spending time with love brings us to better understanding with love, but God also uses this as a bridge to everyone He loves, since He wants us to do it together.
This bridge takes us to the final seven commandments. The first two of these having to do with existence in the human family. Honoring those who brought us into this family and not destroying others existence in it. Next we are to take/receive only that which is ours to have, relating to adultery and stealing. We are only to give love, which denies lying. Then, we are to be pleased with what we have received and not long for that which is another’s. If we long for another’s wife or goods, we really want to take it from them.
The Ten Commandments take us from our relationship with God (1-3), to our relationship that brought us into the human family (4), our existence in the human family (5), our intimate relationships in the human family (6), and then our dealings with the human family (7-10). They all relate to denying hate, which brings us to love. When one is denied the other grows.
(By the way, the $2 can be given to your local parish.