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Wednesday Devotion: Don't Do That

Updated: Mar 29

Exodus 20:3-4,7,13-17

Last year I developed swelling in my left elbow. It became enlarged and misshapen, as if someone had inserted an egg behind my elbow. Still, I was able to perform most activities without pain.

After checking with doctors in various disciplines, I visited my orthopedist, who was perturbed that I didn't start with him. His rapid, simple diagnosis: tennis elbow.

How had I caused it? Overuse would be the culprit. When I mentioned I could no longer hold bent-arm planks for four minutes, the orthopedist scolded me. "That's what causing the problem. Don't do that!" Once I altered my routine, the swelling dissipated. I now do straight-arm planks, and for less time, to protect the elbow.

We may think we know what is best, but sometimes we must be told, "Don't do that!" That's what God does in the Ten Commandments; eight of the ten say, "Don't!", as we read in Exodus 20: 3-4,7,13-17 (NIV):

“You shall have no other gods before me.

“You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below.

“You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God, for the Lord will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

13 “You shall not murder.

14 “You shall not commit adultery.

15 “You shall not steal.

16 “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

As with my planking exercise, we all are willful. The Ten Commandments diagnose problems that come from doing harmful things our way, installing guardrails to keep us and others safe, living in harmony.

Since I quit listening to the wrong doctors and trusted my orthopedist's instruction, my elbow has remained healthy. We can remain spiritually healthy when we quit listening to wrong voices, trust God's instruction, and "don't do that" any longer.

Please listen to the "Pursue Your Passion" fifteen-minute podcast that I recently recorded with the Southern Christian Writers Guild. Click to where Rory Myers interviews me about "From Comfort Zone to Trust Zone," recently presented with a Living Water Award for Nonfiction by the Blue Lake Christian Writer's Conference. I also give a preview of my latest book, "Unison Parenting." I hope you'll listen to learn more about both books, which are available at

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