Rules, Rules, Rules

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor. You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s. (Exodus 20:12-17 ESV)

Don’t do this. Don’t do that. Rules, rules, rules. This is one of the biggest hindrances for an atheist about Christianity. These final six commandments are the epitome of following orders.

“We should be able to do what we want because this is a free country!”

I’m sure you have heard that phrase before. But what would this world be without a little “Law and Order”? (See what I did there?) Seriously, though. The first four commandments deal with worshipping the one true God. The final six deal with the morality of our decisions. These are NOT unreasonable requests.

Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the Lord your God is giving you. (Exodus 20:12 ESV)

Kids: This is an important commandment. One that you can’t stand sometimes. So let me ask you this:

Question: When should we obey our parents?

Talking Points: What if I told you there was a time you didn’t have to obey your parents? Do I have your attention now? Here is the answer…you should always obey your parents. The only exception to the rule is if your parents ask you to sin or do anything that contradicts these commandments.

If they ask you to take the trash, you take the trash. If they ask you to clean your room, you clean your room. You should obey them not only because they are an authority figure in your life, but also because God has commanded it.

You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s. (Exodus 20:17 ESV)

What does this mean? Don’t be jealous of stuff your friend has! An example: this past week, my friend got a new truck (beautiful truck). A truck that I want. I even told my friend that I was jealous. Should I be jealous? No. Why? Good question. Let’s talk about it!

Question: Why should I not be jealous of my friend’s new truck?

Talking Points: My first reason is found here in Scripture. God clearly commanded in this passage not to. No questions asked, right? Here is the skinny: my identity doesn’t need to be found in whatever car I drive. When I become jealous of my friend’s possessions, I place that possession above my desire for God. God has provided me what I need to live on. I shouldn’t crave more than I need. Instead, I need to be thankful that I have these things.

God should be my #1 at all times. Disobeying these commandments reveals the true nature of humanity: greed, idolatry, etc. These are things we try to fill in the void that lies in our hearts. These evils will never fill this void. Jesus Christ is the only one who can.

God sent him to die for us. This was done to forgive us of our greed, idolatry, etc. Thanks be to God that I have a good, good Father who loves me that much!