Ruled by Rules

I like rules. I like boundaries and expectations. I like to-do lists. I like the feeling of accomplishment when I have completed an assigned task, according to the specific rules set in place for that task.Image result for rule follower

There are some good things about being a rule follower: I get things done, usually on time and usually according to the directions. I avoid doing “bad” things. Even in high school, I tended to avoid the parties and groups that encouraged lawless behavior. I learn from others who break rules, and I avoid the consequences I see them face.

There are some bad things about being a rule follower, too. Those of you who hate following rules already know these (and can probably add to them!): I can be very self-righteous when I see others breaking the rules. I can spot the hypocrisy in other rule followers, and it annoys the crap out of me (which is is hypocritical of me, I know). I can judge others, not based on their actual character, but based on how well they follow rules.

The worst, though, is that, along with being a rule follower, I can also be extremely prideful. So that, when people break rules and those broken rules affect me, I get very frustrated. But because I am also a people pleaser, I often keep that frustration to myself, letting it fester in my mind and take root and become bitterness. How DARE that person do that to ME?? Doesn’t he know the RULES? Hasn’t he read in the Bible where it says (fill-in-the-blank with whatever offense is gnawing away at me). Then, as you read in my previous post, when I can’t hold all that in anymore, I explode. And break all the rules.

Image result for christ sets free from lawHere’s the thing, though: The whole point of Jesus coming to earth was because man was completely incapable of rule-following his way into heaven. We can’t make ourselves righteous. We can’t make ourselves holy. In fact, when we try that, we get even farther from God, even farther from Truth.

Jesus came to abolish the Law. But not so we can just do whatever. It is not a freedom to sin. It is a freedom from sin. We honor God’s rules, not because we are trying to “earn” holiness, but because we have it – through Christ – and because His ways really are best. His boundaries are meant to protect us, to shepherd us. Sin – like pride and hypocrisy and unkind thoughts – stunts our growth, makes us miserable, weighs us down.

My biggest struggle is dealing with my own sins and releasing the sins of others – even the offenses – to God. I can’t make people “follow the rules”. I can’t convince or berate or “expose” them into doing what is right. I can’t change anyone. But, through the power of Christ, can change. I can follow his rule: To love God and love others. Instead of being ruled by rules, I can live in the glorious freedom of being ruled by Christ.

1 Comment

  1. Kim Ordile
    Nov 25, 2017

    Unfortunately I resemble what you are saying! It is a monumental battle I have to be spirit controlled in this area of my life! Thank you for your candid honesty! You made me laugh and feel convicted all at the same time! I love you sister! Thank you for using your story for His glory!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *