Exodus 20:1-17 & Matthew 7:12 (NIV)
Have you ever noticed how uncomfortable and sometimes even unhappy you feel when you are around someone whose manners are poor, or where rules or laws are being broken? That is because good manners and the following of rules and laws are never out of style. The same is true of our spiritual life.
Although the Bible is thousands of years old, the rules set out before us have never yet gone out of style. Just think what this world would be like if everyone would just follow the Ten Commandments and The Golden Rule! But…it must start with each of us doing our part.
We cannot have the attitude that when someone else changes – whether it is our spouse, our friend, our boss, our neighbor – then I will change. That’s just not how this works. We have to take responsibility for ourselves. We must use good manners. We must follow the commandments and the golden rule.
Is it easy? No. But we should seek God’s help. Make the move. Take that first step. Live as God asks. Remember – “it only takes a spark to get a fire going.”
We also need to remember that it will never be out of style to be fair in the way we look at other people. We need to be careful about judging them regardless of what their sin is and how we view that sin. One sin is not worse than another. In our earthly minds it may seem so. It may seem that someone like Hitler is substantially more sinful than the common thief. However, that does not compute. For example, the 5th commandment says: “You shall not murder”. The 6th commandment says: “You shall not commit adultery.” The 7th commandment says: “You shall not steal.” The 8th commandment says: “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.”
There is a lot of difference between murder, adultery, stealing and lying, isn’t there? Wait, is there really? I don’t see God giving any leeway from one to the other. What it boils down to is that sin is sin.
In Matthew 5:21-22a, Jesus says: “’You have heard that it was said to the people long ago, do not murder, and anyone who murders will be subject to judgment. But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment.’” Going on in 5:27-28 Jesus says: “’You have heard that it was said, Do not commit adultery. But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.’”
Our challenge then is to live our lives righteously, with God’s help, using good manners, following rules and laws and using the utmost caution when judging the actions of others.
Written by Karran Martin
October 14, 2018