We live in a society flowing with rules and regulations. Every year it seems more legislation is passed to lengthen the roll of red tape governing our lives. Obviously, this is done with the intent of helping us by refining and clarifying anything that could be misread or abused, but often it feels like plain common sense is thrown out of the window!
Sometimes I agree with the changes, other times it seems like it muddles the issue all the more. A simple job can turn into a colossal task when a line of never-ending paperwork intrudes. When looking at building a home, (which really isn't a simple job!) I was told: 'Allow about a yearâsix months for the Council approvals, then four to six months to build it.'
A code to live by
When it comes to our government there is always going to be controversy over the rules. Mankind is fallible, and so are the rules we make. But when it comes to a different set of rules, those governing morality, I find great comfort in knowing that the code I live by was formed by an infallible God.
Now, let me preface this by saying the Bible is not a rulebook. It is not a checklist of morality that one ticks to make the grade of being a good person. It is a love letter, written by a loving God to His special creation. But within its pages we get a clear picture of who God is and of the standards He upholds.
I will be the first to admit that sometimes God's laws don't appeal to my immediate desires or wants. But I don't base my actions on what brings immediate happiness, but on the standards of the One who knows the past, present and future and is able to see the whole of the picture. Often the temporal happiness I desire is a sugar-coated seed for a calamitous tree.
Look to God
When my picture of God becomes clouded, it becomes easier to just obey the standards that make logical sense to me and ignore those that don't necessarily 'gel'. But when I look at who God isâall knowing, perfect and completely righteousâI realise how fallible my way of thinking is to begin with and disregard my inhibitions for following the laws I don't understand. This verse in Proverbs says it well:
Where there is no revelation, the people cast off restraint; but blessed is he who keeps the law. â Proverbs chapter 29, verse 18
If we obey the perfect law we will be blessed. God is good, and His rules are not made to restrict but rather to empower my freedom.
Am I stupid for following a God I don't completely understand? I think if I was able to understand God, then He couldn't really be God. A God who fits into the boxes of our frails minds could easily be passed off as a human constructâbut the God of the Bible is a God of mystery, of wonder, and of unfathomable complexity. He is a God worth following.
Thomas Devenish lives in Hobart, Tasmania. He works as a motion designer and enjoys the diverse experiences life has to offer, from wake-boarding to curling up with a good book on a rainy day.
Thomas Devenish's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/thomas-devenish.html