Breaking Free of Wretched Rules
(This is the second in my Rules series. Read I Like Rules here)
What is with the title of this post? Am I suggesting you break the rules? Didn’t I just say last week that I LIKED rules? Is Connie getting a little double-minded, swaying with the wind, or am I just losing all facets of my memory now?
Though there is some truth to that last possibility (me being ‘well-seasoned in life), there is a little more to this ‘rule thing’ than to blindly follow what someone tells you. For instance, there might have been a few rules Hitler implemented back in the day that would probably make a God-fearing girl, like myself, a little queasy.
And how ‘bout the one for making pot roast?
Let me show you what I mean.
One day, a little girl studied her mother preparing dinner. She watched as her mother cut vegetables up and placed them in a large pot. She concentrated on how her mom carefully sliced the side of a raw hunk of beef with a knife, discarded the slice, then threw the rest in with the veggies.
“Mom,” she asked, knowing her mother wasn’t the type to waste anything of use, “why did you cut that piece of meat and throw it away?” She waited to hear some wisdom on how parts of the beef are bad for you, or at least, tasteless.
Her mother’s brows drew together as she pondered this question. “I don’t know. That’s just how my mother did it.” Suddenly, the older woman needed to find the cause to this action, so she called HER mother.
“Mom,” she asked her own parent on the phone as her meal was simmering, “why did you always cut off the side of the beef before you cooked it for a pot roast?”
Her mother answered. “Oh that’s ‘cause my pot was too small to fit the whole thing.”
Have you ever encountered rules that needed another look? I’m sure you have.
We see parallels in our world today, especially in this ever-changing technological age. “Rules” for working in certain fields of business are no longer effective in accomplishing the same goal. For instance, marketing in the social media age is a completely different animal than it was even ten years ago. The music, television, and publishing industries have dramatically changed in the digital media age … and will continue to do so for a few years, yet.
This is why, though one should always default to respecting someone with more experience (and following the rules until you can better understand and refine them), it’s important to not just follow a rule, but to seek to understand its use as well. With a bit of research and discussion with those in-the-know, you may discover that a rule is either outdated or at the very least, needs a bit of an overhaul.
So what about God’s rules and the things He says is true?
Jesus bucked against a few rules of His day. The Pharisee, in attempting to keep the masses in control, did not only enforce the Laws of God, but they made up a few they thought would help the uneducated better follow those laws. But, though some of them may have begun as well-intentioned--and maybe even helpful--suggestions, they took on a “religious” stricture not from the Almighty Himself.
Directives from the Almighty hold a different weight. Why? Because God knows all and has been around since, well, FOREVER. His laws are for always, unless He says otherwise. AND He’s just really stinkin’ smart.
That happens sometimes when you create the world--you know everything about it and stuff.
In fact, I’d counsel you to trust Him beyond your human understanding. Yes, you may ponder the whys and wherefores of His Plan, but the truth is, science will never catch up to His Wisdom enough to prove Him right on every point. Your life will be proof enough (trust me)! We will have to have faith in Him--not just that He exists, but enough faith that we TRUST what He says is True.
So if you want to be smart, in a human sort of way, it’s a good idea to study His Good Book. Not only to discover what God calls you away from (in order to protect you from evil!), but also to free you from rules that may not have been from Him at all.
Let me say that again …
To free you from rules that may not have been from Him at all!
When I first became a Bible-believing Christian, I had a mentor who would often challenge my self-imposed boundaries by asking me the most important question: “So, where is THAT in the Bible?” Low and behold I discovered, so many of the self-righteous chains that bound me in my early walk were not from God at all. In fact, they kept me from being all of what He called me to be. I’d assumed those chains from those who hadn’t even studied the Bible themselves!
This is a common occurrence for many Christians who, in their overzealous attempt to do His Will, limit the very gifts God has given them. The cure for this malady resides in the folds of an onion-paged tome authored from the very breath of Our Ultimate Father.
It’s funny. Most people think reading the Bible will bash them over the head for their indiscretions or tie them in a tightly-controlled knot. But, I have found that just like the Good Book says …
THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE.
Next...Who loves a rule breaker, anyway?
See the first post of this serie--I Like Rules.