Honor your father and your mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or male or female slave, or ox, or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.
Reflection by Janet Derby
Writing devotions is an interesting discipline. At times, something in the passage jumps out at me, at other times, I stare at it for a while with no clue about what it says to me. Some of the Scriptures are ones that I am not particularly acquainted with. Others, like this one, are very recognizable. Finding insight into a familiar passage can be a challenge. As I read over these commandments, I recognized that they are the ones that are related to our relationships with others rather than our direct relationship with God. But I noticed something else today. Most of these are specific actions to avoid – theft, murder, adultery, and lying. This one, however, is directed at our thoughts more than our actions. This last commandment is a reminder that even our inner thoughts can lead to harmful relationships with our neighbors. In this time of deep divisiveness, we would do well to remember that it is not simply our actions that can be destructive, but also our attitude.
Loving God, Forgive me when I am envious of what others have. Help me instead to do my best to contribute to the well-being of the community. Amen.