Thursday, July 5, 2018

The Original Ten

Lately it seems like I am seeing lots of “Rules to Live By” lists.  God gave us the one and only list of rules to live by that we need, The Ten Commandments.  Yesterday we looked at #4and #5.  Today we continue with:
6. Control Negative Emotions You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13  You may feel that this is one commandment you never feel you would violate but people do it every day with their emotions and words.  The Wisdom writer said, Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit.Proverbs 18:21   
Jesus shared the meaning of this when He said in the Beatitudes, "You have heard that the ancients were told, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER' and 'Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court.' "But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, 'You good-for-nothing,' shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, 'You fool,' shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.  Matthew 5:21-22
Two Important Truths in Life
Truth # 1 - "Deal with your emotions or your emotions will deal with you."
Truth # 2 - What we don’t talk out, we act out. 
One of the most important lessons in life is how to handle negative emotions.  A man who cannot control himself cannot properly lead his family.  His anger will make the focus of his life on himself instead of those he loves.  Children need a model for the way to handle times of hurt, hate, despair, loss, and other tough times in life.  
Children are Receptors and Reflectors 80% of all behavior is modeled behavior.
BE ANGRY, AND yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.  Ephesians 4:26-27
7. Watch Your Eyes  You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20:14 
We are under vicious attack from the culture.  There is no escape from the enticements of sensual and sexual bombardment that fuels improper thoughts and feelings. Pornography ranks high on the list of problems that we face due to its personal and private nature. Sadly, weak marriages send unhappy people into the work force and suddenly business relationships become torrid affairs.  And neither party was looking for what occurs. 
The best way to handle any temptation is to deal with it early.  Once the hook is set, it’s hard to let go.
Jesus gave good advice when he interpreted this commandment and said, You have heard that it was said, 'YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY'; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  Matthew 5:27-28  You see, actions come from thoughts and thoughts are triggered by our senses which means that we think about what we look at repeatedly.  The truth is we long for what we cast our eyes on repeatedly, so guard your heart by guarding your eyes.  
8. Earn Your Way  You shall not steal. Exodus 20:15 Theft is not just about taking things. People steal time from their employer, cheat on their taxes, hold their tithe, and cheat others in a number of ways.  Gossip steals another person’s reputation.
We have a society that is laboring under the burden of those who want something for nothing and devise schemes to deceive others. This commandment in the positive would speak of being responsible for your own life and goods.  How can you be proud of something you have that you stole from another?  It is an incredible feeling to earn and pay your own way.  It takes and creates integrity, and when we steal from others, we are robbing them and ourselves as well.  
He who steals must steal no longer; but rather he must labor, performing with his own hands what is good, so that he will have something to share with one who has need.  Ephesians 4:28

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