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By Nick P.

You know something? Rules can be annoying? Don't they just get in the way sometimes? When you've done your Income Taxes before, have you ever wanted to fudge on the rules some? Have you ever wanted to get some benefits from your job that you aren't supposed to get but feel like you deserve? Have you ever wished that Speed Limit was a little bit higher?


Several years ago Nintendo had a new invention hit the market for their system. It was called the Game Genie. The genie allowed you to bend the rules of games. You could have infinite lives or have secret stage selects or make the enemies super easy or any number of things you wanted. People like to bend the rules.


You know what? Rules and relationships don't mix honestly. When I worked at the theater with each new rule the manager gave us to keep us under control, I resented him more. Each one was an insult because a rule said that we cannot trust you to do the right thing on your own. In fact, that's the only reason rules are given. People cannot be trusted to do the right thing on their own.


In the Garden of Eden there was only one real rule. Don't eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They could have eaten from the tree of life if they'd wanted. They could climb the trees and swing and jump between them. They could run and jump with the animals and I am sure that in their love for God then untainted by evil they would have no thought of doing that which would clearly be evil.


However, because they showed they could not be trusted (And the opportunity for distrust had to exist in order for true trust to exist.) we have been condemned to a system of rules. I fear many times our Christian lives are becoming a system of rules. We say we have Christian liberty but then pile on do's and dont's.


How about this? How about a picture where we grow up loving God and walking with him? When we get saved we realize we truly love him and we walk with him and how can two walk together unless they agree as Amos said? The more we come to know this God, not only will we know what he desires but we'll want to do it. Much the same way that a man as he grows with his wife not only knows what pleases her but wants to please her. (Come on guys. How many of us have done dumb things to impress the girls we love? I can assure you I have.) The utmost thing in our mind is pleasing her.


What if we were like that with Christ? Then truly what John said would be true. His commands are not burdensome. They are instead not commands but opportunities of joy. We are given a chance to dive deeper into the ocean of our love for Jesus.


Our society couldn't survive without rules. Wherever there are people that are fallen interacting, you will have a need of rules. We will often tend to please only ourselves more than our fellow man. In fact, I will say amazingly there are two places that won't have rules for entirely different reasons.


The first is Hell. There will be no need for rules because there is no interaction. Your actions will have no results on anyone else there. You will live in an eternal vacuum alone and so whatever you do is fine but there will be no joy in doing it.


The other is Heaven. We won't need rules because all will love each other perfectly. Who thinks when we get to Heaven Jesus is gonna give us a list of do's and dont's? He won't because he won't need to. We will get there based on our love and devotion to the one who is Lord there.


You know, I like that. It seems that when we reduce anything to a rule we lose its beauty. Even the sacraments at times can lose their beauty when they're made into rules. Even worship itself can lose its beauty when it is made a rule. When it is made the desire of our hearts though, it transcends all boundaries truly and fixes itself solely on the one to whom it is due, the God/man Christ Jesus.

Email the author at ApologiaNick@yahoo.com