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The Ten
Photo: Arkos Arkoulis
Not long ago I inherited a house full of furniture. Even though most of it was damaged through neglect, I hung onto it. In fact, I moved it twice, a total of a thousand miles with the hope I could restore it to its original beauty.

About 4 months ago, I set about that task. Never having refinished a piece of furniture in my life, I bought a do-it-yourself magazine, an electric sander, some wood stain and brushes. I began to read and work.

I’ve spent hours cleaning, stripping, sanding, staining and putting on top coats. But more often than not, I’ve been frustrated by the results. It hasn’t turned out right. A number of times I’ve stripped it down to the bare wood and started all over again. In fact, I’m on my fourth try with one particular table!

But, yesterday, it finally dawned on me. Refinishing furniture is all about making the right decisions. If you make the right decisions all along the way, your work turns out well. If not, you’ve botched it and you’re back to square one again. For example, if you work outside, you can see well but dust and all kinds of things land on your freshly stained surface. If you buy less expensive brushes, the bristles fall out and get stuck in the polyurethane. If you buy the wrong top coat, you don’t get the sheen you want. And, on and on and on…  It’s all about making the right decisions all along the way.

Cause and Effect

Life is that way, as well. For the most part, the decisions we make determine our future happiness and even more important, our eternal destiny. If we choose to serve God and obey his commands, our lives won’t be perfect by any means, but there will be a certain order to them. There will also be joy in the journey and we will escape a lot of heartache along the way.

I believe God gave us the 10 commandments so we could make the right decisions. Our Creator knows that if we do, we will be happier. God loves us and doesn’t want to see us, or others in pain. For, there are always painful consequences and penalties to pay when we choose to ignore God’s laws and do things our way.

Do not murder, commit adultery, steal, give a false testimony, or desire what your neighbor has. Honor your parents. It’s easy to see how keeping these commands will promote happiness and good relationships. Conversely, breaking them will only cause heartache.

Don’t have any other gods before the Lord; don’t worship them; don’t misuse God’s name and keep God’s day holy. We honor the Lord when we do these things. We show our love for the Almighty by our obedience.

Contrary to what some may think, God’s laws do not restrict our freedom and happiness. Ironically, they ensure and protect our freedom, and the freedom of others. They promote happiness in place of pain.

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By Kathy A. Lewis. Copyright © 2012 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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