Thou Shalt Not

thou shalt notYou can’t deny that the Bible has a few of those “Thou Shalt Nots” in it. There’s a few “Thou Shalts” as well for that matter. We have a tendency to reduce Christianity to what we should do, and more often, to what we should not do. Is that really the essence of Christianity? Is it a fair representation to say that Christianity has as its main feature that it tells you what to do.

Well, it does mention, in passing, what we should do. Is that the theme?  Have I arrived as a Christian when I know the “cans” and “cannots”, and particularly, if I get to the place where I think I have proof that I live them?

As my Christian life goes along, I’m learning a few things. I don’t handle these things as well as I once imagined I did. I guess when the Lord Jesus told us that when we hate we really murder, or when we lust we actually commit adultery, I wasn’t listening carefully enough. In other words, I still struggle with the “Thou Shalt Nots”. Come to think of it, I guess that shows just how desperately I needed/need Jesus Christ. Actually, that is a little closer to the theme of the Bible, isn’t it?

That raises an even more bizarre question. Why do some people insist on adding to the “Thou Shalt Nots”? How can they do this to me? Couldn’t they wait until I mastered all the ones the Bible actually mentioned before they encumbered me with more? I think someone is out to get me!

Speaking of bizarre questions, I can go one better still for these folks. Wonder why the Lord forgot to put all the necessary “Thou Shalt Nots” in His Word? It wasn’t like we didn’t have any of them already, or that we had so conquered them that they were boring or irrelevant. We have never lacked volunteers, from Christ’s day until today, to fill this void.

You almost wonder if some people just want me to fail. The pointless part of their efforts is how wonderfully I was failing before they got involved! Are they trying to prove I am a sinner? Talk about a day late and a dollar short—that was already proven a long time ago.

Are they afraid I am going to think too highly of myself? (Kind of like they are or they wouldn’t be so presumptuous to add to God’s “Thou Shalt Nots”—oops, I better save that topic for another day). Again, this is the proverbial beating of a dead horse. The more deeply I look into my black heart, the less able I am to see anything worthy. I really could fall apart over it until I look long and hard at the One Who saved me. That’s the only relief I have ever found.

So add to the “Thou Shalt Nots” if you must. I’m probably not going to pay any attention to you. The ones the Lord left us have already been effective enough to drive me into the arms of Christ—the place I needed to be all along.

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