Let’s expand on that.
Why have boundaries for behavior? Who’s to say what’s right or wrong? Why deny yourself any immediate pleasure?
Most of the Ten Commandments are framed in restrictive terms: “You shall not… murder; commit adultery; steal; lie.”
Perhaps the woman with the sign would agree with these commandments? Perhaps her sign is referring to less intense issues, like her clothing choices?
But in the end, every restrictive law or command, begs the question: “Why not?”
Here’s a start at answering the question. Every biblical boundary on behavior is designed to protect something of extreme importance. But the boundary – the restriction – is just a starting place. The ultimate aim of the command is to create a world where love of God and neighbor can truly flourish. In other words, we say “no” to some things so that we can say “yes” to others.
Want to understand the Ten Commandments? Look for the “yes” that stands behind the “no” in each one. Ask yourself this: “What is the boundary protecting and why?”
The heart of each commandment is not oppressive restriction, but liberating love; giving us the protection of boundaries that allow our lives to flourish — even in a broken world.
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