Posted by: Anne | March 9, 2019

when “have to” becomes “want to”

“In fact, the Law was our teacher. It was supposed to teach us until we had faith and were acceptable to God.”
~ Galatians 3:24 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

Rules. No one likes that word. It’s daunting, ponderous. It goes in the same box as ‘terms and conditions’ or ‘wait time: three hours’.

Christianity is distinguished by its lack of rules, which is great because rules were never very cool to begin with. It’s all about relationship.

Relationship: now there’s a word we can get behind. It’s deep and meaningful, and does away with the intimidating factor intrinsic to rules.

But if it’s true that Christianity is all relationship, then… why are there all these dos and don’ts?

Rules and values: the two are almost identical. A rule can be a value, and a value can be a rule. But if rules are things you follow, values are things you possess. A rule belongs to someone else; a value belongs to you.

For instance, going to church is a rule if you do it because ‘Christians go to church’. It can also be a rule if it’s because ‘God wants you to go to church’. The latter is like me going to work because my boss said to. It has rules written all over it.

But the act of going to church can start to become a value (and not a rule) when we begin to answer the question, ‘Why do I care what God wants me to do?’ In other words, ‘What is the purpose for following this or that rule?’

I had to learn the rules, and follow them, before they could transform into values, and it’s no fun when the rules are long and tedious; it’s less fun living by them. But, sometimes, when you give it a good go, the rules begin to feel a little less rule-y. You begin to appreciate them because you realise why they exist.

Read the full article at the source

See also: Is Christianity Just a Bunch of Rules for How to Live?

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