"Thou Shalt Not" Is Not Enough

Do Not Steal (THE COMMANDMENTS)Image by loswl via Flickr

Romans 13:8-10; 10b “therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”

The rich young ruler described in Mark 10:17 asked Jesus, “what shall I do that I may inherit eternal life?” Jesus gave him the “thou shalt not” list. He replied, “all these have I observed from my youth.” Then Jesus told him to give all that he had to the poor and live a self-sacrificing life following Him--Thou Shalt. He could not or would not do that. For him “thou shalt not” was no problem, but “thou shalt” was a serious problem. When understood properly, thou shalt and thou shalt not are essentially two sides of the same coin.

Like the rich young ruler many of us work hard at thou shalt not… but we may be idle when it comes to thou shalt. That is easy, cheap religion. Experience teaches us that energetically doing the things that flow out of true love will help keep us on the right track. Working in love for the Savior is much more fulfilling and leaves little time for doing what thou shalt not.

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