Thursday, December 11, 2008

The gift of rules to live by.

I am by default a rule follower.  This is helpful when the rest of the world wants to follow rules, but oh so very frustrating when they don't.  My brother and I laughed about this over Thanksgiving weekend.  If I know a rule exists about something, it VERY HARD for me to not follow through.  It is nearly impossible really.  

Which is why I never did anything wrong in my life.  HA!  Just checking to see if you are still reading.  You can ask my mother, she will tell you, I do plenty wrong, even in my default character of following rules.

Well many many many many years ago we were given the gift of some rules to live by.  Most of us can't recite them, nor do we live by them, and I will say that many of us in church today try to not get caught up in "all the rules" and in fact, some churches will talk about everything but the rules, so as to not appear "legalistic."

But I don't see the rules as bad.  In fact, I am of the opinion that if most of the world joyfully embraced life as God set it out to be, our world would be much different...and dare I say better?  Now, of course we would still need Christ on the Cross because none of us are perfect, but the rules are not to make life boring or numb, but instead to help us have life to the fullest.  In fact, so many of us get caught up in the rules themselves we fail to see the reason for them in Deuteronomy 6.  As Moses is sharing about the rules, he shares how God instructed him to tell the Israelites to keep them close to their hearts, to write them on the doorposts and as they remember where they were brought from (as if they could forget they just escaped after 400 years of slavery) and the Lord commanded "us to obey all these decrees and to fear the Lord our God, so that we might always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today."

Now re-read those rules.  Which has the possibility of bringing you the most harm or disappointment in life...trying to live by them...or trying to ignore them and live by your own?

The rules my friend, they too are a gift.  Just like mama's rule to not play with fire.  She didn't give us the rule to ruin our fun, she gave us the rule so that life would be longer and we would have more hopes for fun in our longer futures of not playing with fire.

And yes, you might have noticed, this is the second post of the day.  That's because I try to adhere to the rule about working six days and on the seventh resting from it.  This is Fridays gift, a day early. Enjoy.

1 comment:

D. L. Webster said...

My two cents is that rules have a couple of problems. I think the new covenant way of doing things is to live by principle (character, integrity) rather than by rules or the law. To my view, I see very few rules in the New Testament. I think that frees us from trying to live by the letter of the law. In some ways, rules are easy because they don't require much thought. But there is also the difficulty of people having different ideas about what the rules mean and how they are carried out, which can create divisions. I like the idea that the bottom line is love. On the surface, that's simple too, though can certainly be hard to do, which is why we need help. It seems like what you are talking about as not following rules is more living by one's own desires, which is different though.