If it doesn’t affect anyone else, does it really matter?
The Bible has many commandments that say thou shalt not do this, thou shalt not do that. But why? Why can’t we lie sometimes? Why can’t we do those things that God says not to do? Surely ignoring pretty much all of the ‘thou shalt nots’ can be justified under certain circumstances, can’t it? Really, what is the big deal? If it doesn’t affect anyone else, does it really matter? Is God just being a killjoy, with all of His negative commandments? Or maybe He just likes telling us what to do and what not to do, like some sort of tyrant. This is the view of some people, but it could not be further from the truth. The truth, is that all of the so called ‘negative’ commandments in the Bible are not really negative at all. They are there for our protection, and that makes them positive. You see, God knows that when we do those things, there will be negative consequences, and so God takes the same course of action that any loving parent would do, He warns us not to do them.
The ‘thou shalt nots’ are there to protect you, not to hinder your enjoyment.
The ‘thou shalt nots’ in the Bible could be compared to a sign, warning about an electric fence. The warning is there as plain as day, but is it really electric? Maybe the sign is just a bluff. It probably wouldn’t really hurt, would it? And of course, you can ignore the sign and go ahead and touch the fence. But if you do, you’ll find out that the sign was there for your own good. It wasn’t there to stop your enjoyment, it was there to protect you. It was there to stop you getting hurt. Likewise the ‘thou shalt nots’ are there to protect you, not to hinder your enjoyment.
You could view God’s way of doing things as an umbrella.
Also, it’s not like God just came up with a list of things we couldn’t do and then made up punishments for doing them either. When Adam disobeyed God by eating the fruit which he had been told not to eat, sin entered into the world and with it all the negative effects of sin, often referred to as the curse. God knows what actions we can take that will enable us to be blessed and what actions will result in us being exposed to the curse. You could view God’s way of doing things as an umbrella. As long as we pay attention to what God says, we will be protected from the effects of the curse – which very clearly are everywhere in the world. But when we think we know better, when we think “what’s the harm?“, we step out from under the umbrella of God’s protection and are exposed to the effects of the curse.
Sins act as what you could refer to as ‘blessing blockers’.
The good news, is that as soon as we sin, we can repent and get quickly back under the umbrella of protection. But that doesn’t mean that we can just keep sinning and repenting? Not really, no! God’s desire is to pour out blessings upon us, but sins act as what you could refer to as ‘blessing blockers‘. So if you want to walk in the fullness of God’s blessing, make it your aim to get sin out of your life. You won’t be able to do this by concentrating on not sinning, the way to do it it by spending more time on the things of God.
In conclusion, let me give you a quote from something I heard on a Christian children’s programme that I just caught the end of: “When you are tempted to sin, remember, it may seem like fun, but there’s always a sting in the tail. There’s always a cost“.
If you have any further questions or thoughts, please feel free to leave a comment.
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