Monday, January 26, 2015

You Had One Rule!?!

You had one rule! One. Rule!!!!

That's what I would say to Adam and Eve. I imagine that's what a lot of people would say to Adam and Eve. 

We have lots of rules. In fact, you can even find books of ridiculous rules that have been made. For every dumb thing that has been done, a dumber rule has been made to keep it from happening again. 

For example...
In the state of Florida, if an elephant is left tied to a parking meter, the parking fee has to be paid just as it would for a vehicle. Well....yeah!

In the state of Indiana, it is illegal to catch a fish with your bare hands. So much for the days of letting men be men.

We have so many rules, in fact, that we have arguments over interpretations of these rules. Adam and Eve broke their one rule. We break every rule. Perhaps rules are not the problem. My belief is that they are not the solution either. 

For the solution, we turn to Ephesians 2:8-10. Recently I shared this with the youth of our church, telling them they were God's masterpiece. 

I started the discussion by asking them to share the worst thing they had seen someone else do. I would have asked for them to confess their own sins, but I was trying to promote discussion, not do a group impression of a room full of crickets. 

(By the way, the most random sin they came up with was some guy who supposedly burned a box of kittens. People are sick.)

After each instance of someone else's stupidity error in judgment, I would say to them, 'That's not enough to keep God's grace from you.' 

After that, I asked them to list the good things they have done recently. This list was a bit easier, since who doesn't like being invited to pat yourself on the back. Am I right?

With each good deed listed, I replied, 'That's not why God saved you.'

And it's true. There's nothing we have done so awful that kept God from dying for our salvation and extending His invitation of grace our way. AND...there's nothing we have done so great that God sat back and said, 'Well, we gotta give him a seat in Heaven.'

My hunch is that you're nodding along in agreement with this...at least, in your head. If so, I have a question for you. 

Why?

Why do we still hold out all these rules and standards above people's heads, as if dangling a carrot above their heads? While we may understand that grace and faith should naturally lead a Christ-follower to good deeds, don't we understand yet that the carrot we dangle looks rotten? Even for those who hunger for something...anything that offers more in life than what they are currently experiencing, holding out the measuring rod only serves to keep others at a safe distance. 

If the tables were turned, Jesus might be the one asking us why. Why don't we offer more of the free gift that was offered to us?

No comments: