Friday, March 2, 2018

Don't plus Don't = ????

Don’t run up debts, except for the huge debt of love you owe each other. When you love others, you complete what the law has been after all along. The law code—don’t sleep with another person’s spouse, don’t take someone’s life, don’t take what isn’t yours, don’t always be wanting what you don’t have, and any other “don’t” you can think of—finally adds up to this: Love other people as well as you do yourself. You can’t go wrong when you love others. When you add up everything in the law code, the sum total is love. (Romans 13:9-10 MSG)
Don't hit your brother. Don't get mud on your shoes from that puddle. Don't put objects into the electrical outlet. Don't forget to carry the one when you add those numbers. Don't enter - wrong way. Don't leave the door open when the air conditioner is on. Don't leave the toilet seat up. Don't leave an empty toilet paper roll on the roller. Don't...Don't...Don't.  There are a whole lot of don't moments in life. Some are practical advice - others are social rules of relationship. Either way, they are to be heeded - they come with consequences. Hit your brother - go to the time out corner.  Step in the puddle anyway - you get to wash the floor! Put that bobby pin into the electrical outlet - get the jolt of a lifetime!
While not all the consequences are understood 'up front', the don't moments matter - they are more than 'practical advice' that we can pay attention to when we want to and ignore at other times. The 'rules' set out by the 'don't' are there for our protection, provision, or safety (and the protection, provision, or safety of others). Let me just assure you that I know what the bobby pin does in the outlet, not because of the 'don't' warning, but because I didn't heed it! I know what a mess the muddy floor is to clean up - not because I didn't get a warning, but because I chose a behavior contrary to the 'don't' laid out for me. The consequences shouldn't be what motivates us - it should be that we desire to heed the warnings given by a loving and caring Father to his children!
All God did in laying out all those 'thou shalt not' parts in scripture was to help us live within the boundaries that assure our protection is ongoing, help keep us in a place of provision that has been prepared specifically for us, and create a barrier of safety over our lives. The sum of all the "don't" parts is LOVE. His love overshadowing our lives - not as an 'over-protective' Father, but as an 'all-protective' Father. He provides rules because without them we live pretty loosey-goosey (careless and imprecise) lives. Careless actions have no place in the life of a believer - because every action counts! It may not amount to much right now, but repeat that action again and again - the compounded effect of the action matters. When the action is love, the compounded effect of that action is astronomical! Just sayin!