There are 7 different traditional divisions of the seventeen verses of Exodus 20:1–17 and their parallels at Deuteronomy 5:4–21 into ten “commandments” in order to help people memorized them.
The following is the traditional Catholic form which is an abbreviated version of many of the longer paragraphs and has been in existence for 2000 years:
1. I, the Lord, am your God. You shall not have other gods besides me.
2. You shall not take the name of the Lord God in vain
3. Remember to keep holy the Lord’s Day
4. Honor your father and your mother
5. You shall not kill
6. You shall not commit adultery
7. You shall not steal
8. You shall not bear false witness
9. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife
10. You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods
The 10 Commandments can be seen as God’s “red” lights for us. If we do not do these horrible things, then that is a great starting point for a good moral life.
Jesus gives us some mandatory “green” lights. These include, from Matthew 25, to feed the hungry, to visit the sick and imprisoned, to give drink to the thirsty, to welcome strangers, and to clothe the naked. In Matthew 25, the people who did not do these things did not get into heaven, but were banished instead to hell. The people who did do these things did get into heaven, because Jesus said that as often as they did these things to the least of their brother, they did it to HIM.
Jesus says that the greatest Commandments are to love God with your whole strength and your whole soul, and to love your neighbor as yourself. That means we have to sacrifice our time, talents, and treasures for the least among us. After all, a diamond in the mud is still a diamond; we just have to clean the mud off of it first. The poor and destitute among us are just like that diamond in the mud.
Remember “Love the purpose of life is the willing of good of the other person.”