Stone Tablets

I had never wondered, until recently, what Moses felt like when he came down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments etched in stone on two large tablets.  I just assumed, like most of us, that the throng waiting for him at the bottom just said, “Wow, what a great idea.  These new guidelines are exactly how we should live our lives starting now.  Let’s get to it.  Great job, Mo!”

But I am starting to suspect that if you listened in to the crowd’s reaction, you’d hear comments a little more like this:

“We’re going to need some clarification on the first one.  That’s a little high level, don’t you think?”

“Stealing, huh?  I imagine he only means big stuff, right?”

“Why are there two for coveting?  Are those more important than the others?”

“I am a (fill in the blank – warrior, shepherd, servant, whatever) I don’t think those apply to me in my role in the camp.”

File:Rembrandt Harmensz. van Rijn 079.jpgI’ve had some recent experiences with corporate strategic objectives.  Typically, they are developed at an executive retreat (the modern day equivalent of Mount Horeb…) and handed down to the waiting masses with the expectation that they will provide a new and immediate way for employees to conduct themselves at work.   But I think many employees, on their own, have a hard time ‘connecting the dots’ so they can contribute to the accomplishment of the objectives.

So the questions are:  As a leader, have you taken the time to discuss what “bearing false witness” means to your team?  And as an employee, do you know what coveting is?  If you don’t, are you too intimidated by Moses to even ask him…?

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