|Posted on November 23, 2020 at 8:40 AM|
Today I begin my detailed review of the Ten Commandments, one at a time. The first commandment is “I am the Lord your God: You shall not have strange gods before me.” Written slightly differently, the Catechism says “You shall worship the Lord your God and him only shall you serve.”
I believe that there is one God. God is unique, there is no other. He is the author of creation, and His name is I AM WHO I AM. God created me and everything around me. And I am nothing compared to God. There is no way that I can understand how God thinks or acts! But I know that I believe, through faith, and I trust that God is a good and loving God who cares for me and for all creation.
God created various things including humans and “saw that it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31) Therefore I know that all creation, and especially humanity, is very good.
God expected the first humans Adam and Eve living in the garden to love Him, yet with Satan’s encouragement they decided they did not love God above all else. They sinned and fell from God’s grace. Yet that doesn’t change the fact that God created all of humanity to love and honor Him. That is what the first commandment says.
Through the thousands of years of human history, man has created several other gods – inanimate objects, mythological beings and more – and man has placed these things above God. Yet none of these “gods” can hold a candle to the one, true God.
It is through faith that we believe in God. This first commandment requires us to nourish and protect our faith and to reject everything that is opposed to it. And we must hope that God will give us the capacity to love Him and to act in conformity with his commandments.
I may say, “Okay. I believe in God. And sure, I love Him. So how could I sin against this commandment?”
We can sin against this commandment in several ways: When we doubt in God; when we are not grateful for all that God has given to us; or when we put other things (such as work or game-playing) above God.
Let’s look at how we show our love to our human family and friends. We usually value family members and friends more highly than we do our acquaintances or people we have not met. We make time for our family and friends. We get together, we talk, we share meals, and we ask each other for help. And we typically value these people freely, just because we love them.
Do we also love and honor God in the same way? I might ask myself: how much time do I spend with God? Do I take time for conversation with God in adoration or prayer (and more than just asking for help)? Do I regularly attend mass? Do I take time to read and study God’s word and other theological documents? Do I place time with God above time with other things?
To be honest, I don’t always love God the way I should. I find myself spending way too much time scrolling through Facebook or playing games and not enough time studying His Word. I do make it a priority to attend mass, and I have a scheduled adoration time each week, but sometimes my daily prayers get delayed or shortened. I easily get sidetracked when studying God’s word. In these little ways I am not loving God as I should, and I am breaking the first and most important commandment.
When I catch myself in these failures, I must make a choice. I could choose to ignore these failures. However, if I do, chances are I will find myself continuing to ignore God and moving further and further away from Him. I believe the better choice is to acknowledge I have sinned, go to confession, and try to live better, to love God more fully, and move myself closer to God. I can schedule time on my calendar each day for prayer and spiritual reading!
This week I challenge you to look at the first Commandment a little more closely and assess whether or not you are truly loving God in the best way possible. Try to spend more time with him, especially in prayer. Perhaps you might experiment with some Adoration time. Whatever you do, I hope that you find yourself moving closer to God and finding a blessing in His presence.
Have a blessed Monday!
© 2020 www.reflectionsonthejourney.net