How Rules aren’t as Bad as You Think

You know you love rules!

People love laws and rules. Yes, that includes you. Don’t believe me? I can prove it.

Suppose you’re sitting in your living room on a Saturday evening watching your favorite show. During your leisure time, a stranger walks into your house. He says hello and politely informs you that he is about to get a few things from your house. He begins in your bedroom and then gradually moves throughout your house getting anything he wants. When he’s finished he says thanks, goodbye and then leaves.

My guess is that you would not just sit back and let this happen. You would either kick the person out, get out and call the cops, or wrestle him down and hold him there until the cops get there.

Yes, I know that is a very exaggerated example. But I think it proves my point. If I asked you to describe the scenario above with one word, you would probably say “stealing”. We all have an understanding that you can’t just take someone else’s stuff because it’s wrong. There’s a law or rule that we really like against taking other people’s things without their consent.

I know you probably still don’t want to admit it, but you really do like rules and laws. You like them because they protect you and allow you to enjoy freedom. Who would’ve thought that boundaries would give you freedom?

Paul’s example

These same thoughts and feeling can actually cross over into your Christian life as well. Maybe you feel that becoming a Christian means you lose more than you gain. You feel like life has been restricted to a list of rules and laws to follow. But that couldn’t be farther from the truth.

Look at how the apostle Paul talked about himself.

1 Corinthians 9:27(ESV)
But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.

Romans 1:1 (NKJV)
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God

Ephesians 4:1 (NIV)
 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.

Paul embraced, and I dare even say loved, his captivity in Christ. The way he expresses his imprisonment and servanthood doesn’t sound like it was a burden to him. He didn’t see his walk with Christ as a restricting set of rules and laws to follow, even though he did follow many of them. Instead, Paul speaks about it with pride. And he did a lot within those boundaries.

1 Corinthians 15:10(NIV)
But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.

Paul’s captivity in Christ seemed to give more freedom than he had ever had. And he took that freedom and ran with it. Now we remember him as a church planting, disciple-making, book writing machine, who gave his life to the most wonderful cause in the universe – to make Christ known.

Rules aren’t as Bad as You Think

So maybe you need to start looking at boundaries, rules, and laws in a positive way. Rules and laws are there to protect you and allow you to enjoy freedom. And in the same way, but to a much greater extent, submitting to Christ and His rule and reign in your life will lead you to a life of freedom and purpose you could never imagine.

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