This week, The Vatican released 10 Commandments for Driving. The 36-page document is titled “Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of the Road” and was brought about because Catholic officials felt the need to address the moral and ethical aspects of driving.
A quote from the Vatican release:
Cars tend to bring out the ‘primitive’ side of human beings, thereby producing rather unpleasant results.
Money does the same thing! Financial issues cause an untold number of problems including arguments, stress, theft, and worse.
In this context there is a close connection between money and cars, so I thought it would be fun to create my own 10 Commandments of Money based upon the 10 Commandments for Driving and the 10 Commandments in the Bible.
- You shall have no other gods before Me. / You shall not kill.
- You shall not make for yourself a carved image–any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth. / The road shall be for you a means of communion between people and not of mortal harm.
- You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain. / Courtesy, uprightness and prudence will help you deal with unforeseen events.
- Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. / Be charitable and help your neighbor in need, especially victims of accidents.
- Honor your father and your mother. / Cars shall not be for you an expression of power and domination, and an occasion of sin.
- You shall not murder. / Charitably convince the young and not-so-young not to drive when they are not in a fitting condition to do so.
- You shall not commit adultery. / Support the families of accident victims.
- You shall not steal. / Bring guilty motorists and their victims together, at the appropriate time, so they can undergo the liberating experience of forgiveness.
- You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. / On the road, protect the more-vulnerable party.
- You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s. / Feel responsible toward others.
Here is my version of the 10 Commandments of Money:
The 10 Commandments of Money:
- Thou Shalt Not Worship Money: The First Commandment. Too many people make the accumulation of money their sole activity in life. Money exists to facilitate living. Life does not exist to accumulate money.
- Thou Shalt Not Murder: The Sixth Commandment, and the First Driving Commandment. Murder is inexcusable. Money is valuable, but it is never worth a life.
- Thou Shalt Not Steal: The Eighth Commandment. It is wrong to take what is not yours, or what you did not earn.
- Thou Shalt Not Bear False Witness (Commit Fraud): The Ninth Commandment. Money fraud is essentially the same as stealing, but deserves its own commandment. Fraud and Identity Theft have no place in a civil world.
- Thou Shalt Not Keep Up With The Joneses (Thou Shall Not Covet Thy Neighbors Money): The Tenth Commandment. Keeping up with the Joneses is a big reason many people get into debt. If you desire something, set realistic goals and work toward them. But remember, your neighbor may have gone into debt to buy the same thing that you desire!
- An Emergency Savings Account Will Help You Deal With Unforeseen Events (Prudence): The Third Commandment for Driving. Saving money for a rainy day ensures you are prepared for an emergency and will not have to break the Tenth Commandment of Money.
- Be Charitable and Help Your Neighbor in Need: The Fourth Commandment for Driving. Many people tithe, which is giving a set percentage of their income to the Church. If you do not believe in tithing, or do not feel you can afford to tithe a set percentage of your income, there are other ways to be responsible toward others. Some ideas include donating what you feel you can afford, donating items to charities, or donating your time, energies, or skills.
- Money Shalt Not Be For You an Expression of Power and Domination, and an Occasion of Sin: The Fifth Commandment for Driving. Having money does not equal power, nor does it give you the right to sin. Likewise, a lack of money does not equal weakness. You are not your money, nor your belongings.
- Thou Shalt Have Insurance: OK, this was not on either list, but it is a must! Auto insurance is a requirement in all states in the US, but you should have other insurance as well. Life insurance, homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, medical, dental, and other forms of insurance are vital parts of maintaining a healthy financial well-being.
- Thou Shalt Not Have Excessive Debt (Thou Shall Spend Less Than Thou Earneth): This is also not a Commandment. Debt is sometimes necessary, even though it can lead to hardship later in life. Mortgages, medical bills, educational costs, and a reliable (not excessive) means of transportation are legitimate reasons to go into debt. Excessive debt for consumer goods should be avoided at all costs.
These 10 Commandments of Money are not written anywhere as Scripture, nor are they endorsed by the Vatican. But, I assure you that if you follow them, you will be well on your way to financial stability and personal well being.
Feel Free to add your own Commandments for Money in the Comments section.