This was another article that I wrote for Rubies Like Ruth's study on thought-life.
Have you ever applied the Ten Commandments directly to your thought-life? I have not . . . until the study on our thought-life set me to thinking.
1 - Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (Exodus 20:3)
2 - Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image. (Exodus 20:4)
What is foremost in our thoughts? Are our thoughts focused on God and pleasing Him? If not, what keeps our thoughts away from God? These thoughts could be “gods” or “idols” (graven images) that come between us and God.
3 - Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain. (Exodus 20:7)
Many of us would never dare let a curse word out of our mouth (note: most curse words are derivatives of God’s Holy Name) but what about in our thoughts? Do we keep our thoughts pure from using ugly words?
4 - Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. (Exodus 20:8)
While listening to the sermon, do we let our thoughts wander? Do we go to church to learn of God, or simply use that “wasted” time to daydream? When we are home on Sunday, do we keep our thoughts pure, or on this “day off”, do we take a day off of guarding our thoughts?
5 - Honour thy father and thy mother. (Exodus 20:12)
It is easy to smile and act obedient to our parents, but what about our thoughts? Do we boil and rebel inside? Do we tear down our parents in our minds? Do we compare them to others’ parents? Do we grumble about our parents in our thoughts? Honor does not come from without, but from within.
6 - Thou shalt not kill. (Exodus 20:13)
While we may not physically commit murder, remember that 1 John 3:15 says, “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer.” Are our thoughts full of love for others? Or do we mentally “kill” our family and friends?
7 - Thou shalt not commit adultery. (Exodus 20:14)
Jesus said, “Whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28 – note: this can apply to women lusting after men as well). Do we look at others with pure eyes? Or do we look to supply our minds with food for thought? Do we lust after (long for) young men and thereby commit adultery?
8 - Thou shalt not steal. (Exodus 20:15)
Is it possible that when we think prideful thoughts, we are stealing glory from God? Do we steal time from God when we allow our thoughts to wander idly about instead of using them for His honor and glory?
9 - Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour. (Exodus 20:16)
Do we contrive ways to damage others’ reputation? Do we always “speak the truth” in our hearts about others, or do we allow our injured feelings to shade the truth in order to justify ourselves?
10 - Thou shalt not covet. (Exodus 20:17)
Do we greedily long for something that someone else has? Do we spend our time wishing or dreaming for things that are not?
As we view our thoughts in light of the Ten Commandments perhaps there are a few things to consider.
- Where do I fail in obeying God’s Ten Commandments?
- Where have I disobeyed and need to ask God’s forgiveness?
- How can I change my thoughts to be more Christ-like?
Perhaps we do not think that we are in trouble of falling, but remember, “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” (Mark 7:21-23 – emphasis added) The quote, “Our actions follow our thoughts,” is very true according to God’s Word. A person does not become a murderer overnight neither does one become a thief overnight. It begins within, when we fail to keep our thoughts in line with God’s laws.
It is so important to judge our thoughts in light of the Ten Commandments because, one day, God will judge us not only for our actions, but also for our thoughts.