We all hate rules. I grew up thinking they were all so …onerous and unnecessary. So limiting!
Well-thought-through rules, however, can be our personal checklist for living the way we really want to live, instead of falling for traps along the way. After all, what we want is what is desirable and right. We can more easily avoid missteps along the way if we take time to inspect our ways and aim to live sensibly.
If we establish our own guidelines… they can help us avoid what so easily whacks us (Hebrews 12:1). We take what we foresee as “dangerous” for us… and on purpose avoid problems down the road.
and cautiously avoids evil,
But the fool
is arrogant and careless.”
– Proverbs 14:16
Job 11:12 in various translations:
A vain man is raised (up) into pride; and he guesseth himself born free, as the colt of a wild ass (like the colt of a wild donkey).
A ·fool [L empty-headed person] cannot ·become wise [get understanding] any more than a wild donkey can ·be born tame [or give birth to a human; C Zophar insults Job’s wisdom].
What “leads to sin and enslaves the soul”
The Good Life is all about not letting anything lead you to sin, and not becoming enslaved by sin. The Bible shows us what “leads to sin and enslaves the soul”. Read, for example 1 Corinthians 10:9-14.
What are your general practices in life? Have you created “rules” for yourself, what you will do, what you will not do, generally? I found this especially helpful while young and trying to rein-in my wild and crazy stallion heart. And it helps now that I am older also.
The wild and crazy stallion heart
looks so free his head raised high
he kicks his heels and races freely down the field (YouTube)
but who can ride him, use him, love him
with no restraints the rebel races on
my wild and crazy
I want to be
gentle, kind and useful
not some wicked
wild and crazy
– Source: My wild and crazy stallion heart
Habits of Love.
Love is a choice. I am developing “habits of love”. How are you doing with your “love quotient?
I’m working on these:
- Instead of suspecting bad things in that person – I will choose to forgive on-the-spot.
- What I “suspect” …will be shut-down on-the-spot. I will not allow myself to get caught-up with bad thoughts.
- Instead of condemning thoughts, I will favor that person, in spite of my suspicious negative thoughts.
- I will shut-down my suspicious negative thoughts.
- I will not allow myself to suspect a wrong, and think ill of that person.
- I will not allow my mind to go over and over a supposed slight committed by that person against me.
- I will forgive that thoughtless comment, that arrogance exuded, that selfish act that hurt my pride.
- I will shut-down thinking evil of that person, and choose to accept him or her.
- I will think of that person’s needs as more important than my self-interests (Philippians 2:3-4)
- I choose not to be self-absorbed, where everything is about me and my preferences, my ways, my rules.
- I choose to be non-judgemental, not condemning, not criticizing.
- I choose to be nice.
- I choose to be loving.
- I choose to forgive instead.
– Source: Habits of Love
What “leads to sin and enslaves the soul”
Few things are evil “in-and-of-themselves”. Maybe you love to quote 1 Corinthians 10:23, “All things are lawful….” But if you read the Bible, you soon recognize what “leads to sin and enslaves the soul”. Make your list.
Here is one possible list (maybe not for you, maybe yes):
going to dances, raves, bars; partying, going out with certain friends, dating, being totally alone in your car or lying down with your soulmate (boyfriend or girlfriend), certain types of music, movie theaters, some TV channels, particular video games, YouTube, attending particular protests, casual drinking, sleaze-filled books or programs. Have you made rules of practice for yourself, to avoid enslavement?
Elsewhere God says that if a person persists and persists and persists… in his/her sin, He Himself may eventually give them full rein (like dropping the reins that guide a galloping horse and letting the horse go willy-nilly where IT wants). God is patient and kind, “not willing that any should perish”, but don’t test God in this, this
I’m still “a work in progress” (as we all are).
I’m a’ workin’ more on myself. (I know. It says: I am a working moron myself.) Sometimes I am a moron! I do exactly NOT what I wanted to do, just as the Apostle Paul admitted in Romans 7: verse 15. How foolish is that!?
I want to be always right, and always righteous. But I’m not.
I’m working at it.
– Source: Admitting I was wrong
Who you stand with shows. It shows with how you live your life, with how you habitually act, with “the thoughts and intentions of your heart….”
– Source: What is good and what is not
We have everything we need – to succeed in our Christian life. It’s all about Him – in us.
But the fruit of the Spirit is
love, joy, peace, patience, kindness,
faithfulness 23 gentleness,
2 Corinthians 9:8
“And God is able to
make all grace overflow to you
so that because you have enough
of everything in every way at all times,
you will overflow
in every good work.”
How then should we live now… believing the Rapture is just around the corner?