Cowboy Ten Commandments


I recently came across the cowboy’s version of the Ten Commandments. Here they are.

1. Just one God.
2. Put nothin’ before God.
3. Watch yer mouth.
4. Git yourself to Sunday meetin’.
5. Honor yer Ma ‘n Pa.
6. No killin’.
7. No foolin’ around with another feller’s gal.
8. Don’t take what ain’t yers.
9. No tellin’ tales or gossipin’.
10. Don’t be hankerin’ for yer buddy’s stuff.

There are all kinds of natural laws we don’t debate whether to obey or not, we just do. We know that the law of gravity will pull us to earth really fast and that the quick stop can injure or kill, so we don’t jump from high places. We know that standing out in an open field during a lightning storm is not wise, because a lightning bolt hitting us would likely be more than just a shocking experience.

God, because He cares a great deal for us, long ago gave us some laws that deal with relationships, both with Him and with each other. When we follow these relational laws life goes better, and when we don’t the result is deep hurt for us, for others and alienation from God. It’s amazing that we don’t usually deliberate about obeying natural laws, but we’re tempted to ignore the most famous laws of all, the Ten Commandments.

What we need to remember is that God has our best interest at heart. His commandments aren’t intended to limit life but to allow life to be lived at its best.

Moses said to God’s people, “Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There is no other. Keep his decrees and commands, which I am giving you today, so that it may go well with you and your children after you…” (Deuteronomy 4:39-40a)

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