I once heard Allistair Begg say, “The main things are the plain things and the plain things are the main things.”
In other words, the main things are the basics; and boy, do we ever seem to be struggling with the basics these days.
The basics aren’t new nor anything close to brain surgery. No, the basics are the easy stuff – the simple things that even the most ignorant and obstinate people can learn and follow. The basics are the straightforward, essential, and indispensible truths that are to guard and govern our relationships. For the basics provide the human race with an appropriate code of conduct and engagement with GOD, others, ourselves, and the earth.
So let’s review the basics, because basically, we if we can’t get the basics right, what chance do we have in navigating our way through life and having any sense of significance, satisfaction, and success?
Here are the ten most basic Basics for us humans to live by:
Basics One, Two, Three, and Four – Know GOD, Fear GOD, Obey GOD, Worship GOD
Basically, there is one GOD – Yahweh, the Creator and Sustainer of all life everywhere. He is Triune in His existence, expression, and interaction with His Creation. So invite Him, include Him, and expect His involvement in all things.
Learn how to relate to Him as the loving Father and He will give you the affirmation and approval you long for;
Learn how to relate to Him as the Son, Jesus, our Savior and friend, who will give you the assurance and acceptance you lack;
Learn how to relate to Him as the Holy Spirit, our Helper and Counselor, who will provide you with assistance and advice as you journey through life.
Acknowledge Yahweh as GOD; Don’t get cute and clever and invent your own gods. Yahweh is the only real GOD. All the rest are nothing more than idols and images made with human hands, or ideas and imaginations invented in human minds.
Attribute creation and all that is good, right, true, and beautiful in it to GOD; Respect Him and respect what He has made. Be responsible stewards of the earth and environment as He expects each person to care for it.
Admit total dependence upon GOD as your provider and your protector; Use His name in the appropriate contexts – not loosely, magically, or vulgarly.
Accept that GOD is sovereign over all – including everything in life and death; Just as birth is normal and natural, death, too, is a normal and natural part of our existence and thousands of people of every age die every day. So learn to talk about, prepare for, and expect death – your own and your loved ones.
Adore GOD with regular worship, praise, and thanksgiving; Take time out of each day, each week, each season for reflection, recreation, and rest.
Basic Five – Give Your Parents Honor and Respect
Basically, give your parents – your mother and your father – honor and respect. They brought you into this world just as their parents, and their parents before them did the same. They are not perfect, most in fact are far from it, and many times it is best to do what they say and not do what they do. Still, don’t give them a hard time, as they have tried to do the best they can with what they’ve got, and some don’t got a lot. Listen from them, learn from them (including their mistakes), and love and care them (especially in their old age).
Basic Six – Don’t Murder
Basically, don’t murder other people – not with your wishes, your words, or your weapons. And this includes infants, invalids, and elderly. Don’t plot or plan how you might take someone out. Let it go…let it go. Leave vengeance to GOD as He alone is sovereign.
Basic Seven – No Sex Anywhere but Marriage
Basically, here’s the real scoop on sex – it’s best to just leave it be. Sex doesn’t belong everywhere with everyone. Sex only works out well in one place – in marriage. And real, true marriage is a one man and one woman relationship in which the two are committed to one another until death parts them.
When sex is experimented with and participated in anyplace else outside of marriage, it produces all kinds of problems, pains, and predicaments. So, leave it be.
Basic Eight – No Stealing
Basically don’t do it! Don’t take what isn’t yours to take. If it ain’t yours, keep your hands off it! Only take what you have paid for or what you have permission to take or use. When you borrow something, bring it back quickly and in better condition than when you borrowed it.
And don’t treat everything as being disposable. Use things correctly and carefully. Clean things up after you use them, and apply proper maintenance as recommended.
This applies everywhere at the store, restaurant, shop, factory, office, church, even at home. Don’t take from your parents, your siblings, your roommates, your relatives, your friends, your neighbors, your children, or your spouse.
Basic Nine – No Lying, No Cheating, No Gossiping
Basically, using fiction, fabricating the truth, and giving false information is just plain lying. A lie is a lie whether it is a little white, black, brown, yellow, or red one. A lie is still a lie if it occurs in the courtroom, the classroom, the board room, or the dining room.
And no cheating either. Basically, cheating is just another form of lying as you falsify something to get ahead of others, to look better than you really are, or try to obtain something you didn’t earn and don’t deserve.
Let’s throw gossiping in here too. There’s no need for it. Basically, gossip can include certain elements of murder, stealing, lying, cheating, and coveting as words can do a tremendous amount of damage to another person in many ways.
Try this: THENK before you speak. Only say what is True, Helpful, Encouraging, Necessary, and Kind
Boy, I can hear the world getting a whole lot quieter already.
Basic Ten – No Coveting
Basically, coveting is wanting something that someone else has that you don’t. And when you “want” what someone else has it produces strong feelings of envy, jealousy, dissatisfaction, and discontent inside you. These covetous feelings can lead you into breaking or rebuffing all the previous nine basics in order to get what you want.
Coveting can occur in regards to possessions (automobiles, boats, clothes, and jewelry, etc..), properties (homes, businesses, etc…), positions, power, prestige, and even people (spouses, children, relatives, ancestry).
Pretty basic stuff, right?