How the Ten Commandments can help you
Helping children learn about God's care
You probably know about the Ten Commandments. They tell about how God wants us to think and act. Since the Commandments are from God, they must all be pretty important. But Jesus said that one of them was the greatest. Do you know which one?
Jesus said the greatest of all the Commandments is the first one, "You shall have no other gods before me" (Ex. 20:3). Here's what he said about it: "The Lord our God, the Lord is one" (Mark 12:29). Jesus said that we should love God with all our heart and soul and mind and strength. That means loving God totally.
How can you do that? Here's what some kids know about how to love God and how to obey the First Commandment:
You can trust Him. So if there's something you want, like a place in the band or orchestra or place on a team or a special friend, you can trust that God knows what's best for you. God has only good for you, so you can always trust Him with what you want.
Trusting also means looking to God to know what's true. Then you won't be tricked into believing that something bad could be true or real. God is totally good, so if something isn't good, God didn't make it.
You don't need to think there are other gods, like something else has power to help or hurt you. For example, if you're hurt, you can pray to God. God is more powerful to heal you than medicine. Alex is sure about this, because she stepped on a fishhook. She and her mom couldn't get it out at first. They prayed to God. When the hook came out, Alex's foot really hurt. Then she thought about how God was so powerful He couldn't get hurt, and He wouldn't let anything hurt her. In a short time her foot was healed. Alex said she knew she could trust God to heal her. You can pray to God, and He will take care of you and keep you healthy.
Loving God means believing the promises in the Bible about how He will take care of us. Rebecca knows that God helped people in the Bible to understand things and to know what to do in tight spots. She says that in school when she's taking a test, she thinks about how God is infinite Mind and how He knows everything good. Because she's God's child, she can know what she needs to know.
When God heals you or helps you, you can say, "Thank you, God." But you can always thank God - not just when something good happens. "I thank God just for being there," said Rebecca.
The kids thought about the other Commandments. They know about not stealing or killing, about not using God's name to swear, and about not being jealous (coveting), because they know that God's love for everyone is infinite. They know that not bearing false witness means having pure thoughts, like God has, about yourself and others. There's a commandment about having time with God (remembering the Sabbath), honoring, or obeying, your mother and father, and not committing adultery (staying faithful to the person you marry). They'd already talked about not thinking something had more power than God (not having idols). Obeying all the Commandments is another way to love God.
The last thing the kids talked about was how doing good things for others is a way of loving God. Robert helped his mom with the groceries, and Taylor comforted her friend.
Doing things is important, but it's also important to think what's true about others. Patricia knew her sister was really sad about something, so she thought how God would show her sister what was true and how she could be happy again. Thinking what is true is like correcting a mistake. It always helps others.
Keeping the Commandments is like knowing you're with God all the time. What could be better than that?
Christianity ... must ever
rest on the basis of the First Commandment and love for man.
Mary Baker Eddy
(founder of the Monitor)