Hall

Brad Hall

My friends on social media will share a variety of things, ranging from photos to memes to political rants, but one of my favorite things I see people post are their Top 5 or Top 10 lists.

These lists can involve many different topics including their Top 5 Movies, Top 5 Bands, Top 5 Fast Food Chains, and so on and so forth.

Thus, whenever I come across a friend who has posted a Top 5 list, I always take a minute to see what all they have included. And if they’re welcoming others to play along, I will most certainly share my list no matter how serious or silly the topic may be.

I also think it’s a fun game to play when you’re on a long drive somewhere. When we drove up to Boston last year, I got my family to take turns sharing some of their Top 5 lists, including their favorite movies, TV shows and albums. It helped pass the time as we all racked our brains to come up with our lists, and then we got to hear what everyone picked.

So if you all don’t mind, I thought it would be fun to share a few of my Top 5 lists here. I’d love to see your all’s lists, too, if you’d like to share them with me either by email or online in the comments section. But without further ado, here are some of my favorites:

TOP 5 FAVORITE TV SHOWS

1. The Office

2. Friends

3. The Walking Dead

4. Stranger Things

5. Saved by the Bell

TOP 5 FAVORITE MOVIES

1. Dumb and Dumber

2. Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back

3. Back to the Future

4. Captain America: The Winter Soldier

5. Rocky IV

TOP 5 FAVORITE FAST FOOD CHAINS

1. Wendy’s

2. McDonald’s

3. Chick-Fil-A

4. Skyline Chili

5. Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers

Those are just a few of my lists and a few of my favorites. I could come up with many more if I had the space and the time because I always have fun putting these lists together.

Outside of silly Top 5’s though, lists are a big part of our world. In many different areas of our lives, we need lists to help us complete a job or to help us remember certain things.

For parents and students, an important list many people had to use recently was a back-to-school shopping list. If you didn’t have that list, you would be forced to go to a store and make guesses about what your child might need.

Similarly, I always put together a shopping list whenever I go to the grocery store. There are some everyday items like milk and break that are easy to remember. But after that, it certainly helps to have a list so you don’t forget anything.

I also like to put together a list of chores and errands I need to take care of each week. When you have a full-time job and a home, there are always little things you have to take care of. So if I put a list together of everything, it helps me stay on task and helps me budget my time.

But the lists we use aren’t just limited to items we have to check off. Lists can come in many different forms.

A coach of a sports team keeps a roster which is a list of all of his or her players.

If you have a checking account, you might keep a list of your recent purchases and deposits.

On page 5 of this newspaper, you’ll see our Community Calendar, which is a list of events coming up in the next few days.

And in many books and magazines you’ll find a Table of Contents which is a list ordered by page number that tells you what all is inside.

The one list that should be more important to us than any of these lists, though, is God’s list of The Ten Commandments.

Just like we keep our shopping lists and to-do lists to help us with our everyday chores, God’s Commandments should remind us how we are to behave. They should remind us how we should act around others and how we should treat the Lord.

However, as a society we instead treat The Ten Commandments like they are The Ten Suggestions, or we just completely ignore them altogether.

We know it says to not have any other graven images, and while many of us don’t have literal idols that we worship, we do have many other things in our lives that we place higher on a pedestal than our relationship with Jesus.

The Commandments tell us not to take the Lord’s name in vain, but it’s nothing at all for us to spout out a “GD” here or a “GD” there. It’s treated like no big deal at all. It’s just part of our everyday language.

We’re also told not to covet, but how often do we wish we had what our neighbors had? We’re never satisfied with what the Lord has provided us, and instead continue to want and want and want.

And how on earth have we fallen so much that even murder is just a routine, everyday occurrence? Random acts of violence like mass shootings happen almost weekly now, and we barely bat an eye at them.

Perhaps we overlook The Ten Commandments because to us those rules were just some silly Bible verses we learned about as children. But God didn’t create that list just for us to memorize in Sunday School. He created that list because those Commandments are how we are supposed to live, and we should follow each one — not just a few.

What if we treated our other lists the same way we treat God’s Commandments?

Our students would surely struggle in class if we just cut the back-to-school list in half. The teachers would think we were crazy if we told our kids they didn’t need pencils or paper.

Or what if a coach looked at his roster how we look at the Commandments? If a football coach decided to put a third-string defensive lineman in at quarterback, fans would call for their immediate firing. Or what if the coach simply decided not to fill the roster spots and entered a game with only half of a team? If they treated their roster like we treat the Commandments, that is exactly what you would have.

I do understand, though, that simply following these rules isn’t what gets us into Heaven. We get into Heaven by accepting Jesus Christ as our savior and letting Him into our hearts. But once we are saved, we should want to obey The Ten Commandments that God laid out. They will help us live the way God wants us to live and will make us a more compassionate people toward the needy and the lost.

A life dedicated to Christ is a life devoted to relationships. God’s relationship to us is one of unceasing love, and we should desire to mirror that love in our relationships with others.

John 14:15 says, “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

Society today treats The Ten Commandments like they are The Ten Suggestions, but we should never compromise on what’s right and what’s wrong. If we ever forget the difference, though, God has blessed us with a list.

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