It's Fun to Break the Rules

Her mother had told her "Hayley, you stay on the sidewalk, because I do not want you getting all wet in the sprinkler." My granddaughter complied by not getting off the sidewalk, but she still managed to get soaked by leaning over as far as she could and sticking her head over the spraying water. She not only managed to soak herself, but also managed to form a sizeable puddle on the sidewalk. When her mother came out the front door, she was confronted with her daughter's smiling face and the assurance "I didn't get off the sidewalk!" I am amazed my daughter managed to take the picture that graces the cover of this month's journal.

Mankind's relationship with God is very much like this. God gives us instructions about how we should live. His teachings always provide for our betterment, security, and well being. Instead of following these teachings completely, we look for ways to avoid the obvious intent of God's rules. We justify our failure to totally obey God by pointing to the degree of obedience we did accomplish.

The result of this attempt at brinkmanship is much more serious than just getting wet. Refusing to totally forgive others brings stress, violence, and isolation. Failing to love our wives as ourselves causes us to fail to enjoy our marriages to the fullness God intended and erodes the security marriages need to be based on. Failing to give as we have been prospered makes us vulnerable to the materialism of our society and keeps us from developing the warm loving spirit that enriches life. The list of human failures to totally follow God's teachings can be related directly to all the ills of our world today.

It may be fun to break the rules, and pleasure may lure us into thinking we have what we desire, but the greatest loss is that we never come to understand what great things God has planned for us, and wants for us. Jesus said "I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly" ( John 10:10) If we will obey God's teachings we will see that promise fulfilled in beautiful ways.

--John N. Clayton

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