Oh, to be an obedient Christian. We get very worked up about others who don’t obey God’s law, all the while ignoring the fact that most of us not only disobey the basic commandments of Ex. 20 but do so without batting an eyelash. Do we truly have no other God’s before Yahweh and put Him first in everything we do? Do we ever misuse God’s name meaning do we do anything wrong and either excuse it or blame it on being God’s people? How many of us remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy? Do we really have a day each week where we do no work? at all? Where we dedicate the day to resting up and remembering God? Honoring your father and mother meant caring for them financially, emotionally, and legally in their old age when they couldn’t care for themselves. Do we all do that, or do we rely on their nursing homes, their 401Ks or their savings to do it for us? Do we ever lie about our neighbors or friends? Do we ever want what others have rather than being satisfied with what God has given us?
An interesting exercise for us today. In Matt. 5-7, the famous Sermon on the Mount that we read together a few weeks ago, Jesus took some of the commandments (don’t kill, don’t commit adultery) and increased the restrictions and focused them on attitude rather than behavior (don’t even be angry, don’t even lust). What might Jesus have said about the other 8 Commandments in this section? How might He have changed them to increase the restrictions and focus them on attitude? Let’s try one together. “You have heard it said, ‘You shall not steal’, but I tell you don’t even desire another person’s possessions. Instead, give thanks to your Father in heaven for the bountiful blessings He has given you.”
Try the other 7 and see what you get. Then remember that we cannot be perfect (the last command of that particular section of the Sermon on the Mount) and that God forgives us when we’re not.