Do you like following the rules?
I’m not aware of too many individuals who loved growing up with firm boundaries. However, I know plenty of people, including myself, who benefited immensely from rules. We may have hated them in the moment, but they had a real significance!
A few days ago, I was responsible for putting my oldest son to bed. We were out late at a park, and by the time we got home, it was already late. We should have immediately started our evening routine, but I decided to let him have another snack… Then he wanted to play more… Then he wanted an extra story… I naively thought I could break the rules and just enjoy a fun evening. However, it is probably unsurprising to learn that the night ended with a bit of chaos! J
I find the psychology of law and order to be fascinating. Humans have a tendency to try and fight the law. However, people also need structure to thrive. I know my kids need it, and I do too! People have told me this before, but it is powerful to see firsthand.
In Matthew 5:18, Jesus says he came to fulfill every letter of the law. He clearly knew the law was important. Nevertheless, he would break rules all the time. He would heal on the Sabbath. He touched the unclean. He took a stand for God even when that meant execution…
I think we all need structure, but there are also seasons to ask questions. There are seasons in life when law and order bring joy. There are other times when these strict rules can suffocate us… Today I hope you can find a place to reflect. When is structure life giving? When have the rules prevented you from seeing the greater joy of God’s Kingdom? Jesus pointed out that we cannot always see the difference ourselves. Usually, we have pretty bad judgment. We reject the law when we need it the most. We also will embrace the law when it is suffocating us. Perhaps we all need an outside voice to hear us, reflect with us, and break our hearts of stone. That is what the church is for. I hope we can all be honest with who we are this week. I hope we can feel accepted in Christ’s arms, and I hope we can be motivated to grow every day!