"Thou Shalt Not"
January 26, 2010
All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any. (KJV) 1 Corinthians 6:12
Some years ago I saw a man-on-the-street interview.
One lady was asked, "How many commandments are there?" She knew the answer: "Ten." The next question was harder, "Can you give me one of those commandments?"
The lady hemmed and hawed; she stuttered and stammered, and then she said, "Thou shalt not . . . do anything." The audience laughed.
The questioner asked, "Are you sure?" She was positive she had it right. "Thou shalt not do anything."
There are a lot of unbelievers who think that's what the Lord has done to Christians. He has told us, "Thou shalt not do anything. Thou shalt not have fun. Thou shalt not smile. Thou shalt not . . . "
How wrong they are! The Savior's sacrifice and the shedding of His blood on Calvary were designed to free us from our sin and release us from Satan's clutches. Jesus' resurrection on the third day has even freed us from death itself.
Now it's true that the Son of God dying -- so we might have eternal life -- can be a sobering and powerful thought. Even so, that doesn't mean we Christians have to be sour and sad. God has not given the order: "Thou shalt not do anything."
Now the reason I bring this up is because recently, during a rare winter snow in London, some British policemen -- two bobbies -- were reprimanded (lightly reprimanded) because they had used their riot shields to go sledding.
The film, made by a passerby, shows one bobby shooting down the hill while another shouts, "Whatever happens, keep smiling!"
Apparently, the authorities found the thing objectionable.
I like the rule: "Whatever happens, keep smiling." That's it. "Keep smiling in the Savior." That sure sounds a lot better than, "Thou shalt not do anything."
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, for the grace of the Gospel that enables me to live in gratitude for all that has been done to forgive and save me, I am thankful. Now, please send Your Holy Spirit upon others so they may see Your love, and not just Your Laws. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries