I have a love/hate relationship with rules. I like them because I like to know my boundaries. I want to know what’s okay and what’s not….then I can decide if I want to break them! But, rules sometimes meant to help can actually hurt and they can never replace common sense.
For those who don’t know, I have taken a part-time job at….well….we’re not really gonna name the place here. The place I’m working has all kinds of rules in place for everything and the goal is to ensure good customer service without giving away all the profit. But, often the rules ensuring the financial end of things doesn’t always think of the customer and their needs. For example, the rule is that you can not return something without a receipt, you can only exchange. Which makes good sense. But, if the something is broken and the person who sold it to you clearly remembers the exchange, shouldn’t that be as good as a receipt? One would think so. But, the supervisors are instructed to not use common sense, to only follow the rules. So, sadly, a once happy customer was left with a bad impression in general. The rules were followed, but no consideration for the situation took place. In my personal opinion…for whatever that’s worth….they would be far better off teaching their workers good customer service. Then most of the rules wouldn’t be needed.
Which leads me to my real point. In the beginning of time, God saw that the people he made were crazy. They couldn’t just love Him and live their lives. The Adamic sin had seized every heart and no one knew right from wrong. So, He made rules. Ten on stone, but by the time Jesus was born, the Jews were trying to follow hundreds of rules. Or not trying. Either way, Jesus was born, died on the cross, rose again all to save us from our sin. He explained that He had come to fulfill the law, not to do away with it. Because, let’s face it, most of the laws were made for our protection or to bring us closer to God. Jesus came for relationship. If we truly love Him with all our heart and all our soul and all our mind and all our strength, He will correct us if we’re not living properly.
Now….am I saying we can toss all the rules out of the window and start living like crazy people again? Ummm….no. What I’m saying is that many of the rules put in place were to remind us of the right thing or to guide us to the right thing. But, when you start trying to follow a bunch of rules, you couldn’t possibly be keeping your eyes on Jesus enough to follow Him. And that’s what He wants. Sometimes, He asks us to step off the beaten path. But the point is that we should be so in tune with Him, following Him so closely, listening so carefully, that even a whisper from Him will be heard. It’s not about rules. It’s about relationship.
Be blessed and tell someone you love them.