“Thou shalt not commit adultery.”Exodus 20:14
I remember singing a song in Sunday school that went like this: “Oh, be careful, little eyes, what you see, Oh, be careful, little eyes, what you see. For the Father up above is looking down in love, Oh, be careful, little eyes, what you see.” This verse was one of many verses of the song we sang, and we loved to sing it. At that time, we did not fully know what the song meant, but we did have a little knowledge of how it applied to us.
When we think of this commandment in Exodus, most of us think of adultery as something we would not want to be associated with. We may look with shame on others who have been involved in this painful and hurtful sin, and we cannot imagine that we would be involved in such a thing ourselves. I grew up in a Christian home and in a good church, and did not know of anyone who had broken this commandment. I went to a Christian school, and I met some kids there whose lives had been negatively impacted by the breaking of this commandment. I was shocked when I first heard of someone being involved in this, and I vowed I would never do this to my own wife when I got married.
In a lot of ways, we tend to look at others’ sin much harsher than we view our own sin. It always make one feel better when they can compare their sin to others who are worse than them. My standard for myself is a lot lower than my standards for others, and I often look at things the way the world looks at them instead of looking at things the way God sees them. My initial definition of adultery was engaging in a sexual relationship with someone who is not your spouse, breaking the vows promised between two individuals before God and man. However, when I meditated on Jesus’ definition of adultery described in Matthew, it made me stop dead in my tracks.
Matthew 5:27-28 states,”Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” God’s standard listed here is the correct standard, and when I examined His word compared to my own life, I was proclaimed guilty before a holy God. I did not leave my wife for another, but I had lusted in my heart after another, not realizing the damage I was causing and the sin I was committing. I looked down on others, but yet looked at myself like I was doing just fine. These above verses pointed at me like Nathan pointed at David and told him, “Thou art the man!” I had Christian friends I hung around with, and I did not ever recall any one of us taking a stand and looking away when someone attractive walked by. Shamefully, we would elbow one another in the ribs and say, “Hey check out that girl.” We thought it was okay to stare and gawk and it was even widely accepted amongst my core group of friends. We were applying our standards instead of applying God’s standards.
Where are you today friend? Do you apply the world’s standards to your life or do you desire and seek to please God? Do you stare when you should turn away? Do you need a neck brace when a group of women walk by? Is what you look at pleasing to God? Would you be embarrassed if the pastor pulled up your “hidden” internet search history and displayed it for all to see? Are you being careful with what your eyes see? Job 31:1 states, “I made a covenant with mine eyes; why then should I think upon a maid (young woman)?” Have you made a covenant with your eyes or do you view whatever pleases you? We are foolish to think God does not see what we view, whether in the privacy of our home or out at the grocery store. May we apply God’s standard in how we live our life, and may be obedient in obeying the command, “Thou shalt not commit adultery.”