Be the Billboard

The Ten Commandments are a gift. “Their sorrows shall be multiplied who hasten after another god,” says Psalm 16:4. The commandments begin with a command against false gods, seeking to spare us these sorrows. And so the commandments proceed from there.

There is a danger of regifting. That is, there is a danger of rejecting the gift by passing it to another. In the meeting on Mount Sinai, God gave the commandments and a human being received them. The most zealous proponents for the Ten Commandments risk assuming God’s role in this encounter—devoting energy to “giving” the commandments by pressing them on others with prominent public displays.

Deuteronomy 6:6 says, “These words which I command you today shall be in your heart.” This is how we receive the commandments. This is how we receive the gift. The most persuasive billboard on behalf of God’s instruction is a person who is becoming more free to love, more free to share joy, because of the way that he or she holds and treasures this instruction, along with the additional gift of grace.