Two Children Look at the Ten Commandments
This piece was written by my friend David Weber. It is a fictional work, but it could have happened anywhere, anytime, in a great many of the families that claim the name of Christ.
Two cousins, Jimmy and Timmy, are playing in Jimmy’s home.
Timmy turns to Jimmy and says, “What are those words in that frame?”
Jimmy says, “That’s the Ten Commandments. They were passing them out at church.”
“What is it for?” says Timmy.
“The pastor said these were words to live by,” Jimmy answers.
Timmy reads, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.”
“I wonder if my dad knows God is more important than he is?” Johnny muses.
“I bet he’d be really sore if he found out, my dad would. “Timmy says.
Jimmy says, “The next one says thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. I wonder if Uncle John’s showcar is a graven image?”
Timmy says, “You know it might be. He has an engraved license plate on it. And he spends every Sunday with it.”
Timmy reads, “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord Thy God in vain. Hey did you see those wrestlers on t.v. last night?”
“Yes, I watched it with my dad. They were sure cussin’ up a storm!” Jimmy says. “They were about as bad as our Uncle Frank when he’s working on something.”
“Yeah boy, Timmy comes back, “I’ve learned some new words listening to him get mad.”
“Remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.” Jimmy calls out.
“I don’t think that one applies any more. My mom and dad do the same thing on Sunday they do every other day,” Timmy remarks.
“Well, we go to church on Sunday morning, but dad can’t hardly wait to get home to the ballgame. My schoolteacher said going to church was outdated. I don’t think I will bother getting all dressed up for an hour when I’m big.” Jimmy says.
Timmy reads, “Honor thy father and thy mother,” and laughs.
Jimmy says, “What’s so funny?”
“How do you honor a drunk?” Timmy says. “My dad tied one on again last weekend. He looks so stupid flopping all over the place. We would all laugh at him if we weren’t scared he’d hit us.”
Jimmy said, “Dad said mom was the queen of the house, but if you ever saw her in the morning in her robe with a cigarette hanging out of her mouth you wouldn’t think she was much of one. She caught me out behind the shed with one of her Marlboros, and said she would beat the daylights out of me if I ever smoked again. How am I supposed to honor them if they do what they tell me not to do?”
“Thou shalt not kill.” Jimmy reads and gets silent.
Timmy says, “What are you thinking?”
“If killing is so bad, why do they show so much of it on television? I mean, they don’t make it out to be all that bad.” Jimmy observes.
“I know, but they act like its okay. I heard some people talking on television about how a man had killed a lot of people in some place a long way from here, but it was wrong when he was made to stop,” said Timmy.
“Well maybe it is only bad to kill people when you know them,” Jimmy says.
Timmy reads, “Thou shalt not commit adultery. I would like to know what that means.”
“Why is that?” Jimmy asks.
“Mama and daddy was sure fussin’ about it before daddy left the other day.”
“Thou shalt not steal.” Jimmy goes on. “I guess people don’t obey that one cause we always have to lock our doors when we leave home.”
Timmy said, “I heard dad say he had a notion to steal Uncle John’s gun after he and momma argued about the adultery.”
“What would he need Uncle John’s gun for if he believed that we shouldn’t kill?”
Timmy shrugs and reads, “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor.”
Jimmy says “I know that one. It means not to lie about someone else.”
Timmy says, “My momma says that is what your momma does when she talks about people.”
Jimmy remarks, “I only think it counts if you have to go to court or something.”
“I know the next one,” Jimmy says, “thou shalt not covet. I heard the preacher explain it real good. It means I should not want what someone else has, like that fancy skateboard Joey has!”
Timmy says, “I don’t think that one is any good anymore either.”
“Why not?” says Jimmy.
I heard my daddy say that if he got his hands on Uncle John’s showcar he would sell it and buy a good car.”
Jimmy says, “I wonder why my mom and dad hung this silly thing on the wall? Nobody pays any attention to it.”
“I know it,” Timmy says, “grownups do everything this list says not to do. It must be some grownup kind of pretend.”
Could a conversation like this happen in your house?
P. O. Box 752
Buchanan, Georgia 30113