A lot of times it’s easy to get caught up in do’s and don’ts. We can easily tell people what to do and what not to do. It’s simple right? If you have a line drawn, like, “Don’t steal.” Then we can tell someone when they stole, that stealing is wrong. It seems to be the simplest way to explain God’s expectations, but is it the best way?
In Matthew 5, Jesus speaks to the people and He is explaining the law. The law was a list of do’s and don’ts that was designed for the Jewish people. Jesus explains the reason for the do’s and don’ts. In Matthew 5:21-22, Jesus explains, that the law said don’t kill. However, the reason the law said don’t kill was that God did not want people to even hate one another. The law also spoke against adultery, but Jesus explained that looking with the intention of thinking lustful thoughts is sin.
So, if you are teaching another about God’s will, don’t always resort to do’s and don’ts. Yes, it is true that God wants us to have proper actions, but God also wants us to have proper thoughts and attitudes. The sin of murder is wrong, but so is the sin of hate. The sin of stealing is wrong, but so is the sin of selfishness.
I challenge you, seek to give a complete view of sin when you teach. The Christian life is much more than changing our actions. God wants our hearts and our inner beings to change as well. Don’t allow someone to think that only their actions must change. Give them a complete view of God. God wants a relationship with them, not just a robotic obedience.
We can force ourselves to obey strict commands, any well run military is proof of that. In contrast, we need God’s transforming power to change our inner beings to be like Him. That’s what the Christian life is about. Won’t you seek Him for that transforming power, and share it with others today?