My entire life has been about rules — listen, obey, be respectful, use manners, say please and thank you, don't drink, don't smoke, no sex before marriage, be kind, put other people first, put God before people, don't curse, don't drive too fast, don't gossip, do more, fit in, excel, and for heaven's sake, change your underwear every day.
Rules abound and the list is infinite. Without them, we would live in chaos. So, of course, I am generally pro rules.
But today, I want you to ditch them.
Get rid of the ones you use to define yourself. Be free from the ones that "prove" you aren't enough. Remove the suffocating squeeze of being what everyone else thinks you should be, of everyone else dictating how you should act.
As a rule follower, I can get so consumed by the rules that I miss out — on life, on taking risks, of thinking outside the box.
And I splay the rules out as a measure of my acceptability. I'm marked good or bad, obedient or disobedient, wrong or right.
I have struggled deeply with the notion that I am only loved when I'm doing what I'm supposed to. That I am worthy and valuable only after I have overcome, persevered, or conquered "that thing" that is a struggle for me (if that's even possible).
But one day, a friend of mine whispered truth in my ear. She told me that I am loved even now, irregardless of my brokenness or my sin, what I've done or haven't done. And that was powerful and difficult for me to grasp at the same time.
If I am loved and accepted whether I follow the rules or not, then why conform at all?
God wants us to make life choices — what we eat, what we say, what we wear, how we behave — that reflect our hearts. Not entirely because we have to, but because we want to.
I'm not saying only do things you want to do and ditch the rest. I don't love chores, but I do them. Why? Because I love my family and I want to serve them.
And I accept and follow God's commands because I believe they are right and I trust the Rule Maker. My obedience, however, is not to earn favor with God. I already have it and more!
Are you bound by rules?
This is a post in a series called, 31 days of Intentional Living. You can find all the posts in this series here, updated each day in October. Category: Inspirational & Faith
Also linking today with Jennifer at: