Rules Shmules: The Truth About Rules and Why We Have Them

Read This: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except by God’s appointment, and the authorities that exist have been instituted by God.” (Romans 13:1)

Think: Rules shmules. Some people are natural born rule followers; I am absolutely not one of them. To those of us with a rebellious side a rule sounds more like a challenge, a double dog dare. The forbidden fruit suddenly becomes the most interesting and the most alluring with or without Satan’s help.

Rules aren’t just for kids either. As much as grown up’s see the importance of enforcing rules on children and young adults, we tend to give ourselves more leniency when it comes to things like speeding (just a little), rolling stops, the use of electronic devices on airplanes, fireworks in the backyard, etc. We decide to trust our own judgment over those who put the guidelines in place, turning rules into something more like suggestions.

The truth is rules will always be part of community. God created rules from the very beginning. Even in a perfect world, before sin, God had a rule. Unfortunately after that one was broken and sin entered the picture, we needed a whole lot more to keep us on track. Rules create order out of chaos. Knowing this, God places people in authority in our lives from law-makers and leaders of our country to pastors, parents, teachers, and employers. We demonstrate our submission to God by submitting ourselves to these authority figures.

We may never make sense of some rules, but that’s okay. Obeying the rules, big or small, is an act of worship to God. As much as we might grind our teeth at a list of rules, I doubt anyone would really want to live in a place that didn’t have any.

Ask: Ironically, in following God’s rules we experience true freedom. How have you seen this truth unfold in your life?

Pray: Whether the rebel or the rule-follower, ask God to give you the conviction and strength to obey the rules you should and fight the ones that do not accomplish God’s good and perfect will.

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