Saturday, November 25, 2017

So, why all the rules, God?

142 Your justice is eternal for your laws are perfectly fair. 143 In my distress and anguish your commandments comfort me. 144 Your laws are always fair; help me to understand them, and I shall live. (Psalm 119:142-144 TLB)

One thing we can learn from history is that God's laws (rules for living) are always "fair". The same cannot always be said about the laws of the land, or those some insist upon in their "own little world". Human beings have a very hard time "being fair" - we just have a bent toward showing someone a little more "favor" than another (sometimes because that "someone" is us). It is important to remember a law is nothing more than a "rule" that helps to define the way we are to conduct ourselves - it defines how it is we are to be living - oftentimes guiding the culture of a group, not just our own self. All laws set parameters - boundaries. Living within those boundaries is what is referred to as being "law-abiding", but we all know some live much further from the boundaries than others!

It is important to ask God for help understanding his boundaries. If we don't, then we will make up all kinds of ways of interpreting why that boundary exists. In healthcare, there are certain "boundaries" set for us, one of which is the protection of health information from getting into the hands of anyone who should not have access to it. There are laws or boundaries set in the stock market, ensuring no one gets an unfair advantage over another in being able to buy or sell on the market. On the roads, the boundaries of which lanes I can use while traveling alone in my car are well-marked and there are different boundaries I can explore if I am with another passenger. While we don't always understand the boundaries, there are usually very good reasons for the ones that are set.

Too many times, we get hung up on the fact there are boundaries and miss the intent behind them - to keep us safe and provide an advantage to those who live within those boundaries. If I use a couple of the examples above, I could say the advantage behind the "insider trading" laws are to give us all a chance to equally share in the gains of a particular stock should we choose to trade in that stock arena. If I think about the use of the carpool lane, it is designed to reduce emissions by reducing the number of vehicles on the road each day, thus making it easier for us to breathe, while decreasing the commute times when less vehicles are caught up in that traffic each day. God's laws aren't much different - they keep us safe, provide for our well-being, and help us realize the best potential in our lives.

We don't want to just "guess" as to their meaning or intent. We want to know the intent, making it easier for us to stay within the boundaries, and maybe even live a little less content to "push those boundaries". Just sayin!