Let’s Rewrite “The 10 Commandments” to Focus on Desirable Behaviors Instead

I’m sure this post is going to get me in trouble with some of you.

As a reader of The Conscious Communicator  blog you are most likely familiar with the “Lack of Desirable Behaviors” Communication Sin #2, if not go here to read about it.

This weekend while making final preparations for my fall 7 Deadliest Communication Sins Speaking Tour I realized that 80% of the original 10 Commandments are written in “undesirable behavior” language.

That is absolutely true!

If you’re not familiar with the 10 tenets of Judea-Christian belief here they are:

The 10 Commandments…Thou Shall

  • Have NO other Gods before me.
  • NOT bow down to any graven image
  • NOT take the name of the Lord in vain
  • Honor the Sabbath and keep it Holy
  • Honor thy father and mother
  • NOT kill
  • NOT commit adultery
  • NOT steal
  • NOT bear false witness
  • NOT covet…

Hmm, something to think about?

Maybe the world would be a better place if we turned the language of The 10 Commandments into desirable behaviors statements.

Let’s try and see what happens.

Thou Shall Always…

  • Maintain me as your primary God.
  • Maintain direct focus on me as your God & pray directly to me
  • Invoke my name only in positive light
  • Honor the Sabbath and keep it Holy
  • Honor thy father and mother
  • Respect & support the sustenance of all life
  • Practice monogamy in the mind, heart and flesh
  • Respect and honor the property of others
  • Be honest and truthful when speaking about others
  • Respect, honor, and appreciate all that you have in your life.

I’m sure you can refine what I’ve been able to do on this first draft, and I’d love your feedback to make these even better so feel free to leave a comment below.

4 thoughts on “Let’s Rewrite “The 10 Commandments” to Focus on Desirable Behaviors Instead

  1. CJ Rice says:

    Skip, I love you’re communications snippets but I’m sorry to say, you may have exceeded your expertise by endeavoring to improve the Ten Commandments. Communications consultant to God . . . Skip, think about it. Would you suggest that the Lord God Almighty needs a little help from his creatures from time to time? I think I am will accept the commandments as is!

  2. Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert says:

    Thanks, so much, for being inspired to leave a comment. I truly appreciate and respect your opinion. What I’m suggesting is that it might help if some of us mere mortals on earth put a different spin on the commandments that will allow us to fulfill them a little more consistently by focusing on the behaviors we want to move towards instead of continuing to focus on all the things we shouldn’t be doing.

    Focusing on what we shouldn’t be doing for those of us who are extremely imperfect is sometimes very attractive. What is forbidden is enticing to many. If we focus on what we should be doing instead its much more rewarding and maybe we’d be able to stay true to those commandments more consistently.

    Just a different way to think about them.

    Maybe since I just came from a conference and was challenged by a speaker to question long-standing “rules” that may be limiting our growth and success, and so I took the highest rules and tried to look at them in a new provocative way to make you and others think.

  3. K P Pradyumna says:

    Dear Skip sir,
    I love the commandments. many I will be discussing in my programmes too. but one thing I didn’t understood is the first commandment “Have NO other Gods before me.” Now please clarify me for what the Other stands for? You may be directing me to have that God which you believe. Never mind. But for OTHERS of different faiths would you consider their Gods as other gods? I notice something fishy in the statement. However you may be having a different version too. please advise.

  4. Skip Weisman, Workplace Communication Expert says:

    I am not espousing anything about anyone having any Gods. I was just commenting on the story of the 10 Commandments as written in the Old Testament. I have no place to be directing anyone about any God which I believe. My purpose in this post was solely to note how the language as the original 10 Commandments were written is counter to my philosophy of crafting language so that it is focused on what we want to move towards instead of behaviors we are trying to avoid.

    I recommend you read the prior articles on a “Lack of Desirable Behaviors” to understand the concept better.

    Thanks for asking for clarification on this issue.

Comments are closed.