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Character Rule: Follow the Ten Commandments by Ron Kurtus - . Key words: Judeo-Christian Bible, 10, religious, spiritual, social, Golden Rule, jealousy, School for Champions. Copyright © Restrictions

Character Rule: Follow the Ten Commandments

by Ron Kurtus (revised 30 November 2008)

People who follow the 10 Commandments from the Judeo-Christian Bible are considered to have many of the traits related to good character. These Commandments concern both spiritual worship and dealing with others in a respectful manner.

Questions you may have on this are:

This lesson will answer those questions.


The first four of the Ten Commandments are spiritual or religious commandments and the final six are social rules.

Spiritual commandments

The first four commandments included in the Biblical 10 Commandments can be paraphrased as:

  1. You shall not worship any other god
  2. You shall not make any likeness of another god
  3. You shall not take the name of your God in vain
  4. Rest on the seventh day of the week and keep it holy

These commandments relate to a person's religious or spiritual attitude.

Social commandments

Commandments 4 through 10 are concerned with how you deal with other people. The Golden Rule summarizes these commandments: "Do unto others, as they would have you do unto them."

  1. Honor your parents
  2. Don't kill or harm others
  3. Don't commit adultery
  4. Don't steal from others
  5. Don't say lies or bad things about others
  6. Don't covet or be jealous about others' property or relationships

Interestingly, only one commandment tells you what to do, while the other five tell what not to do.


The commandment concerning being jealous or coveting what someone else has seems to be a combination of several items. Coveting may lead to scheming, stealing, or even killing to get what you want.

Honoring parents important

The commandment on honoring your parents relates to having strong family values, as well as respecting your elders and even your leaders. Likewise, the commandment against adultery also emphasizes family values, as well as leading a moral life.

Relationship to character

Being a person of high character means you are honest, moral, caring and courageous. Lacking in one of these areas does not mean you are a bad person, but it can be considered a character flaw.

The Ten Commandments provide religious and social rules of behavior. Following the Commandments can help a person move toward having good character, but it is not a guarantee. A person can follow these commandments but yet not be compassionate or courageous.

Going beyond the 10 Commandments

Although the 10 Commandments provide a good basis for being considered of high character, there are other traits that go beyond these commandments.

Be reliable

Being reliable and conscientious are two examples of admirable character traits that go beyond the 10 Commandments.

Exaggerating importance

These commandments also concern the relationship to God and to other people. A person may not bear false witness against someone else, but if he lies about his skills or achievements, his character is not very admirable.

Personal excesses

Likewise, a person who follows the 10 Commandments but yet gambles excessively and abuses him- or herself with drugs or alcohol, cannot be considered admirable.

Be brave

Being determined, courageous or brave are admirable traits that give a person points in having high character.


The first four commandments are concerned with belief in God. The other six concern "doing unto others as you would have them do unto you." Following the 10 Commandments is important in character, but there are also other traits such as reliability and courage that a person should have to truly have good character.

Go beyond the Golden Rule

Resources and references

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