Many people mischievously say rules were meant to be broken. Really? If we say it sarcastically or in jest, that statement can be intellectually glossed over, but some say it as justification for ignoring, rebelling or conspiring against whatever rules and laws they don’t agree with, as if that statement is a higher rule that can supersede the rule they are opposed to.
Why do we have rules, regulations or laws? These guidelines are in place mainly to keep order and establish equal play and opportunity. Let’s consider some examples.
What if there were no rules for football, baseball, basketball or soccer? How would these games be played? What would be the point of the activity itself? So the people in charge of those past times make rules everyone must abide by, or you don’t get to engage.
While we perhaps bemoan over regulation we see as stifling, do we really want people polluting, littering, piling up junk cars next door or having dogfights? So rules get passed that prohibit certain offenses or penalties get imposed.
Standards must be met in professions so as to keep at bay the unscrupulous and maintain confidence with the population at large to pursue and maintain the public’s relationship with those professions. Think orderly society.
Can you imagine if there were no traffic laws? No speed limits, no warning signs or inspections required of vehicles, no traffic lights or stop signs, etc. Chaos would ensue.
There will always be an ongoing debate about the extent, overreach or insufficient oversight about every topic in society. But we all agree you have to have something in place to at least structurally or foundationally keep order.
Rules, regulations and laws are boundaries. Within those boundaries is the expectation that all affected comply so all are affected equally. Again, one can argue over the scope of free and fair but we do need order. Therefore, we do need rules.
God himself established order in Gen 1 with creation. He set rules and boundaries in nature.
God instituted rules for us to follow also. Consider the 10 Commandments, Deut 5:6-21 any version. Thou shalt not murder: Think of the untold misery that occurs whenever this one commandment/rule is broken.
Thou shalt not commit adultery. Need I say more about the consequences of crossing this boundary? Thou shalt not steal, bear false witness or covet. As it concerns society and God, can we be honest and admit the traps we get ourselves into when we not just bend, but break the rules.
Rules too often are considered restrictive and limiting. Admittedly, they can be. But many rules are set in place to be protective, not just of others, but for yourself. Take into account seatbelt and no texting while driving laws.
God set in place his rules, 10 commandments and such for our spiritual safety and character development.
His rules, if followed, keep us free: free from heartache, pain, negative consequences, loss of relationships and reputation. God’s rules help prevent greed, racism, sexism and promote honesty, integrity and caring, each of which matures and progresses us to be better people and ultimately creates a healthier society.
God has revealed to us rules for government, family, relationships, business and church affairs. If you want to be free from bitterness, practice God’s rule for forgiveness. If you want to be free from selfishness, engage in God’s rules for giving. If you need set free from soul pain, train yourself to pray as God commands.
All of this can be found in the bible if you’re willing to read God’s “rulebook.” And how much of life would be enjoyed if we would follow the “Golden Rule.”
Matt 7:12A (simplistically) states “Do to others what you would have them do to you,” Matt 22:37-40 (shortened) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul, and Love your neighbor as yourself. These are the two greatest commandments.
Be free, my friend.