Following Directions

Following Directions

“The Church of the Nazarene purposes to relate timeless biblical principles to contemporary society in such a way that the doctrines and covenants of the church may be known and understood in many lands and within a variety of cultures. We hold that the Ten Commandments, as reaffirmed in the New Testament teachings of Jesus Christ, demonstrated most fully and concisely in the Great Commandment and the Sermon on the Mount constitute the basic Christian ethic.”—Church of the Nazarene 2017-2021 Manual ¶28.1

I brought home a box of unassembled parts from a furniture store last week. It seemed like a good idea to purchase the furniture unassembled as I wanted to save money. However, the enormity of the task sunk in as I laid the parts on the living room floor. I wish I knew who came up with the idea of throwing a pile of wood and a bag of screws in a box and challenging the consumer to make furniture out of it!

The challenge became even more complicated when I could not make sense of the poorly written directions and the supposedly simple drawings. So, I ignored them and assembled the pieces like a big jigsaw puzzle. This was not a good idea! I usually get in trouble if I do not follow directions carefully.

That reminder also applies to the lifestyle choices we make on a daily basis. Routine patterns of living often lull us into believing that our choices have no lasting effect. We can easily ignore negative consequences or long-term effects of our choices because they do not seem to warrant immediate concern. Unfortunately, many people live their daily lives according to what their needs and wants urge them to do.

Proverbs 16:25 reminds us, “There is a way that appears to be right, but in the end it leads to death.”

Thankfully, God does not leave us to our limited reasoning capacities to figure out which lifestyle choices are best for us. God offers clear directions for living in Exodus 20:1-17. I know many people have relegated the Ten Commandments to the dusty shelves of a rundown antique store. We must never forget God always has our best interest in mind when giving such valuable instruction.

We often lament the brokenness, hurt, and pain people experience. Many times, psychological fracturing and dysfunctional relationships find origin in ignoring the guidelines for sexual relations and conduct stated in Commandments 7 and 10. Committing adultery and coveting another person’s mate always lead to pain, heartache, and a long list of damages suffered by innocent family members and friends. Some ask why God does not intervene to alleviate the pain, heartache, and damage. The truth of the matter is God intervened long ago by giving us directions for living. We have the privilege and responsibility of making daily choices that either promote wholesome living or lead to self-destruction.

Every culture and society in our world suffers from the damaging effects of sexual misconduct in its varied forms.

The November/December 2019 issue of Holiness Today offers Christian perspectives on many of these issues through the lens of God’s directions. As you read these articles, you may think of individuals impacted by such sin. We trust that the information and insights in these articles will be tools in your hand for ministry. Perhaps God can use you to speak with friends and family members about God’s directions for holy living. Share with them the good news of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to lead individuals out of the bondage, shame, and destructiveness of sexual sin. Remind them that God loves them very much and offers bright hope through forgiveness and restoration.

You are always welcome to request extra copies of this issue of Holiness Today. Simply email your request to holinesstoday@nazarene.org. Please indicate how many copies you want along with your name and mailing address. Who knows, God may use you to put this information into the hands of someone who will be eternally changed.

Frank Moore is editor in chief of Holiness Today

Holiness Today, Nov/Dec 2019