This may certainly seem, as a title, to be obscure – yes, maybe obsolete. But a closer look may make us think otherwise.
Human behavior is one of the most fascinating studies on earth. And try as hard as we may – we oftentimes come up short as far as answers to human behavior are concerned. </>
Human behavior is responsible for wars, for quarrels, for happiness, for despair, for perpetual wonder, and many times, we are tempted to give up trying to understand it.
Let’s see if we can make any sense out of human behavior. Sometimes it is good, but often not good, unrighteous, and terrible.
The basis of our behavior is probably what we have been taught, and also what we think is important in life. Teaching and environment, and maybe even heredity may play a part.
Of course, as humans, we are not alone. There are family members, friends, maybe enemies, mentors, parents, teachers, yes, also leaders of various kinds. How should we treat one another, and why?
If humans, yes, any and all humans, did things God’s way, there would be very little trouble on the earth that a little kindness and common sense couldn’t solve.
And then, there is this neighbor thing. Just who is my neighbor? Is it the person just next door? – or farther down the street? Does it include people we don’t know, and have never seen? Are policemen and public officials to be treated as neighbors?
These questions deserve answers, if life is to be fair and worthy of anyone’s attention.
We could say, for starters, that a person‘s behavior is self-related or God-related, with lots of twists and turns between.
It has been my experience, as I near 88 years of age, that every person needs to consider the results in living life for self or allowing God to instruct us in His way. I am very sure that most people, by their behavior, consider only the short-term consequences of behavior, and not the long term effects.
I also believe that what God has to say about our behavior will help us to understand better just who our neighbor is.
Most of us are aware, in general, about the Ten Commandments. A pastor I admired very much said that too many people treat them as “the Ten Suggestions.” I think it is worse than that, even.
In the Bible, Exodus, Chapter 20, we see what the Commandments are. The first 4 deal with man’s relationship to God. In brief, these 4 are as follows:
1.Thou shalt have no other gods before God.
2.You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain.
3.You shall not make any graven image (to worship).
4.You are to remember the Sabbath Day to keep it holy.
Now, the last 6 Commandments are very specific – and deal entirely with man’s relationship with man:
5.Honor your father and your mother.
6.You shall not kill.
7.You shall not commit adultery.
8.You shall not steal.
9.You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
10.You shall not covet.
Now let’s go one step further – in the book of Romans, Chapter 13 – there is a listing of the Commandments pertaining to man’s relationship to man – then verse 9 goes on to say: “…Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Then verse 10 goes further – “Love worketh no ill to his neighbor: therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.”
Now, as we look further into what God says about man and his ways –Proverbs 14:12 says: “There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.”
Now, whether you can believe this or not – Proverbs 16:25 says the very same thing – word for word. How can this be? It can be, because it is important, so it is repeated in Scripture. It’s not a misprint.
What exactly is meant by these duplicate verses? A way of life can seem right to a person, but if it isn’t God’s way, it end in death or ruin. Many people form their lifestyles in ways that are unrealistic and unnatural, and they end up paying the price of their human folly. What they are living life, and living for, is self-centered and fleshly and has no lasting value. Opposite to the ways of selfishness are the ways of God, where one considers the needs of others, as well as his own.
Well, I hear someone say, “It’s just as I thought – a bunch of rules – I don’t like rules, I like freedom.”
But, Dear Friend, what if your so-called “freedom”, your selfish lifestyle, leads you to trouble and despair? What will you do then?
I am a musician, and quite active yet in my latter years. I love the old hymns because there is abiding truth there. I call to mind an old hymn I can no long find in any books I have. The title is “Unworthy” written by Ira Stanphill, who composed over 240 hymns. The song begins: “Unworthy am I, of the least of His grace…” But before the song ends, the words say: “But He made me worthy…” Yes, God can make us worthy of what we can never deserve.
Now, read very carefully – there is something about the Ten Commandments I have spoken about that everyone must know…EVERYONE!
No one can be justified before God and held blameless from his sins and shortcomings by keeping the Ten Commandments! Simply because, no human person except Christ, when on earth, could ever keep the Ten Commandments. It’s impossible for man to keep them. He may try, but he will fail. Man cannot even keep the 1st Commandment, which in its simplest form says, “Lovwe the Lord your God with all your strength, etc. (Having no other gods before Him.)
So in reality, the Ten Commandments are the ideal, the ultimate goal, but will never be the actual reality.
How, then, can a person become worthy in the sight of God?
Only one way – admit to God that you are a sinner and that you fall short of God’s glory and His expectations for you (Romans 3:23). Be aware that someday you will face the consequences of your sinful life and lifestyle (Romans 6:23). Realize that God loves you (John 3:16). Then know that Jesus Christ died for you (Romans 5:6 and 8) and that you can have eternal life and the forgiveness for your sins – God offers this to you – (Romans 10:9-10). Then be assured that this is real – God says so (Romans 10:13).
Now that you have received Christ as your Savior, you can learn and know more about your neighbor—you will want to. Your neighbor, to begin with, is anyone you know, and well enough to have some influence with, maybe even someone you have thought about that you don’t know well. And, of course, your loved ones and relatives are your neighbors.
Now what about people that you don’t know in faraway places – people you’ve never seen and probably won’t ever see in person?
Simply allow God to reveal to you, just whom He would have you help and to be interested in. Maybe some mission agency or some pastor or evangelist will give you the key to that person or group.
And, Oh! Welcome to God’s way! You’ll never miss the way you had.