As you read through the last six commands, you might notice that not all of the commandments concern external actions; some address the internal posture of one’s heart. Not murdering someone is surely external, but not coveting is internal. Honoring parents is both—there is an external act of obedience in mind, but honor goes deeper than that; there is an internal respect and love as well. When you consider the commandments more deeply, they each have an internal and external aspect to them. They each begin in the mind and heart and carry over to the actions of our hands.
This is what Jesus expressed in the Sermon on the Mount (Matt. 5–7) when He referenced two of the commandments: do not murder and do not commit adultery. Jesus’ point was that obeying these commands runs deeper than just monitoring behavior; they begin in the heart. If hate and lust do not have a foothold in our hearts, then murder and adultery will not follow. But we may never murder anyone yet still have hearts full of hate that dishonor God. Once again, we see that obedience begins in the heart before it is ever seen in our lives.
When are you prone to obey God for the wrong reasons? Why?