Oh, there are so many ways to violate the Fifth Commandment! Did you know that? Besides murder, we can violate this commandment as follows, via showing a disrespect for others in the form of
…anger, hatred, abusive language, resentment, omissions in service, racism, and failures to treat enemy oppressors with love. Revenge or vindictiveness also has no place in the heart of a Christian.” 1
After reading this list, are you like me? Are you having a “whoa” moment, thinking about all the times when you got unjustly angry because of greed or pride? Are you saying “ouch” when you realize that you think you’re better than others, only to learn that you are not (hatred and racism)? How about when you resented someone for getting something you wanted, and envy reared its ugly head?
More Ways to Violate the Fifth Commandment!
It gets even worse! We can violate the Fifth Commandment by showing a disrespect for ourselves, when we commit “suicide, cult of the body, gluttony and substance abuse.” 2
Suicide, gluttony and substance abuse are rather well known sins, but cult of the body, that one is rather obscure. So, let me elaborate. Cult of the body refers to any mutilation of the body. For example, excessive body piercing, tattooing, and unnecessary plastic surgery, are all sins against the Fifth Commandment. One might ask why. The answer lies in being unsatisfied with the way God made you to be. It is an affront to Him, who loves you as He made you, to mar your body to appear as something other than what He made.
Turn the Tide: Adhering to the Fifth Commandment – The Key: Respect
So, how do we turn the tide on these affronts against God, and willingly adhere to the Fifth Commandment? It all starts with respect. We need to respect God’s creation of ourselves and love ourselves as He loves us. Then that respect needs to extend outward toward others. When Jesus told us to “love the Lord Your God, with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind, [as well as] love your neighbor as yourself” (Matt 22:37-39), He didn’t just give us feel good words. These instructions are meant for our benefit, as well as for our fellow man’s benefit. If we are willing to respect ourselves and others, then positive relationships will ensue. We will no longer be slaves to the sins of hatred, racism, abuse, etc. We will be a society of good people.
Are you ready to turn the tide, and work with me, to adhere to all of the aspects of the Fifth Commandment?
1 Armenio, Peter V. Our Moral Life in Christ: College Ed. Woodridge: Midwest Theological Forum. Print. 2009 p. 401
2 Ibid., p. 399
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