RESPECT – THE SECOND COMMANDMENT

Respect Up

We’re comparing a world with the Ten Commandments and without the Ten Commandments.    What difference does it make?

Briefly,  bottom-lining it here tonight:    it seems that the foundation of the Second Commandment is Respect – a commonly available human attitude.   Universal.     And Respect itself involves making comparisons – between you and something else,  and then developing the right perspective.

res pers logs

“Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain.”    

“…in vain.”     That would mean using the Name of God for inferior purposes.      God’s Name is reserved for the things of God alone.

Using the Name of God is an action that shows a person does not Respect God, and since God is infinite,  infinite respect is due Him and all things associated with Him — and conversely,  disrespecting God is not only an offense  (a sin),  it is an infinite offense.

As finite humans we don’t have “enough” of anything to make it up to God.    So we are warned.   Don’t.   Do.   It.

On a human level, we’re familiar with levels of respect due to various humans and their various levels of achievement.   A sweet, lovable, sincere four-year-old playing his violin in a Suzuki class gets a different kind of respect from what you would have towards a violin virtuoso in a major world famous symphony orchestra.

A little child creating a “very nice” house with his Lincoln Logs evokes a different level of respect than . . .

res pers city             . . . this.

Keep using your imagination.     The act of respecting involves making comparisons.    The  greater the distance between the two things being compared,  the greater the respect is owed by the lesser to the greater.

So what is God?     Who is God?    I don’t know;   not really much — but here is a helpful definition from Philosophy:

God is that than which no greater can be conceived.      Think of (conceive of)  all the greatest attributes that we know of — think of the greatest possible.    Think of a living being who has those attributes so purely and perfectly that it is greater than any other being has.    And since Existence is greater than non-Existence,  then this is not just an abstract  thinking exercise,  because if we can conceive of an imaginary Being who is the most perfect Being that we can think up,   then that imaginary figure would not be the real,  actual God,  because we could still conceive of going one better:  actual existence.

And there we approach an understanding of God.

Now make your comparison between you – who actually exists –  but imperfectly with God who has and is the source of all the perfect attributes,  to an infinite degree.     Again,  the greater the distance between the two things being compared,  the greater the respect is owed by the lesser to the greater.

There’s a funny saying we use sometimes in my classes:  “There is only one God — and you are not It !”       But we love and respect each other.

There are many levels of achievement, rank, and hierarchy among humans,  but none of us are like God, the Perfect being Who actually Exists, and is the Source of Being itself.   I AM.

Bar Cross in middle

So next time,  let’s  “IMAGINE”  a world without  the Second Commandment — without  Respect.

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