Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Why There Are Rules

I like rules.  I like knowing what I can and cannot do.  I like knowing if I break this rule, that bad consequences will follow, but if I follow the rule, positive consequences will follow. 

But sometimes, that is a problem.  I forget the reason why we have rules.  I start following rules for the sake of rules being rules.  Life isn't always black and white, not always so cut and dry.  Sometimes there is gray. 

Without rules, you wouldn't have grace. 

I've been inundated with simple phrases that have big meaning lately.  I've been trying to digest them each.  When I heard this concept being discussed on Air 1, a Christian radio station, the other day, it really impacted me.  I couldn't get it out of my mind.  I gnawed on it all Friday evening.

There is a stigma that Christians have a bunch of rules to follow, that the Bible is just a huge book of things you can and cannot do.  I understand why people would get that impression.  God does have a lot of standards, pretty high ones too.  The 10 Commandments aren't easy things to follow.

So why does He have rules?

God's standards tell us about His character. 
The reason God tells us not to lie or cheat is because God is not a liar or a cheater.   The reasons for God's rules aren't just supposed to make us feel like horrible people but to show us who God is and how we can become more like Him. 

God's rules make grace possible. 
If there were no rules, everyone could do whatever they wanted, then there would be no way for someone to be forgiven.  There would be no story of redemption. There would be no way someone could say, "You messed up, but I love you and support you anyway."

Take it even from a non-religious standpoint.  The idea is still the same, regardless of who you believe made the rules for morality.

I need to remember the reason there are rules.  They aren't just there to be followed for following's sake.  Morality after all isn't just this game we play. 

At the end of the day, this understanding has made both rules and grace just that much more beautiful.

Soli Deo Gloria. 

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Related posts:
The Gift of Giving
Learning from Lent
My Problem with Christians