Do we understand?

Friday, August 24, 2018

Even the best of Christians will find themselves struggling with faithfully obeying a commandment from time to time.

As Christians, we commit ourselves to strive to follow the way he taught us. Giving our life to Christ is a lifelong commitment.

So why do we then have problems with specific commandments? Do we somehow believe that one particular one does not apply to us? Generally, it is simply because we don’t understand it.

If we remember that God loves us and gives us commandments because of his love for us, then living all the commandments becomes easier. We show our love for him when we obey, as stated in John 14:15 “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”

In our pride, we occasionally behave like children and presume that we somehow know better, in this particular case, than God does. That is when we run into trouble.

I knew a cute little boy, filled with boundless curiosity and energy, which from time to time got him into trouble.

One day he went to visit his great-grandmother, who had moved from Ely, Nev., to Missouri just a few years previous. Knowing she would miss the beauty of the desert, she brought an amazing collection of cactus with her, and kept them on a table in her living room.

This dear little boy was mesmerized by the wonderful variety of these plants. They were so different from all other plants he had ever seen. Mostly, he was drawn to the plants because of the repeated warnings from his dear grandmother that he must never, never touch them. She told him all about the dangers of the fine little spines. She warned that if he touched them, he would get hurt.

Nothing made the slightest difference. He just didn’t understand. And so the more she said “No,” the more he was determined to touch them. Anytime we took our eyes off the little guy, he headed straight to the cactus.

Finally, knowing it was nearly time to go home, he literally ran into them and grabbed them shouting “I have to touch it!” He couldn’t make himself obey because he didn’t see the reason why. He didn’t understand; now he does.

We can accept the commandments of God on faith, or learn by experience. Just as this grandmother tried to protect her grandson from the consequences of grabbing the cactus, God, our father, tries to protect us from choices that will hurt us. By remembering his tremendous love for us, we can more fully trust and obey him.