July 05, 2017

Guidelines for Healthy Relationships

Exodus 20:1-21

God spoke all these words: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.”

—  Exodus 20:1

Just a few months after delivering his people Israel from slavery in Egypt, God gave them his commands from the smoking, trembling summit of Mount Sinai (see Exodus 19). And these commands are the standard for humankind: they drive us to ask for forgiveness, and they teach us how to live.

Bible teachers often point out that the Ten Commandments, written by God on two tables of stone, can be divided into two parts: the first part concerning our relationship with God (vv. 3-11), and the second part concerning our relationships with others (vv. 12-17). Many teachers also point out that Jesus summarized the law in two parts along these lines: Love God and Love your neighbor (see Matthew 22:37-40).

Today the commands of the two tables are still important for keeping our relationships with God and humanity healthy. We cannot expect to live a fulfilling life if we ignore God, worship money, use God’s name as a curse, work 24/7, disrespect our parents, hurt others, live promiscuously, steal, lie, or desire what rightfully belongs to others. If we don’t care about these basic guidelines for life—or even just some of them—our relationships will suffer.

Have you asked God to help you follow his way today?

Lord, we know your law is our light and our guide for life. Give us strength to live wisely and to walk in the way of Christ’s love, which you laid out so clearly for us here. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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