This past week, I was driving along a county highway and came across several cattle standing along the road looking at me like I didn’t belong there as I drove by honking at them. I made a note of the nearest intersection and called it in to the local authorities. One wrong step with an inattentive driver and it’s hello deductible – goodbye T-bone. While the white and yellow lines on a road are meant to keep drivers from running into each other, they mean nothing to the bovine. Without the boundary of the fence they are accustomed to, they put their lives in danger. What happens to us when we ignore the boundaries set by our society or our God?
And because I consider all your precepts right, I hate every wrong path. Your statutes are wonderful; therefore I obey them. Psalm 119:128-129
Football season is upon us again and people have already started flocking to watch clashing bodies fight back and forth between lines. There are lots of rules in this sport and if you don’t follow them, your whole team gets penalized. There are consequences for playing like a fool, and every sport has them, otherwise chaos would ensue. Do you remember playing games as a kid and someone would change the rules part way through to suit them? It usually resulted in hurt feelings, a fight, or someone walking away with the ball. Not good. When everyone plays by the rules, we can all enjoy the game much more.
Do not answer a fool according to his folly, or you yourself will be just like him. Proverbs 26:4
What about the boundaries God has set for us in his Word? Are the Ten Commandments and other decrees just there to frustrate us, or is there a bigger purpose? Jesus tells us the summary of the Ten Commandments is to love God and to love others, which is illustrated in how he lived his life. When living in a society where nearly anything goes, what did the life of an Israelite or Christian look like in comparison to their neighbors? Is that contrast still visible in our lives and the world today?
You shall have no other gods before me. Exodous 20:3
What happens to us when we don’t stay within the boundaries which are set for us? If we break the speed limit – we deserve a ticket, if we steal from others – we must pay it back or go to jail, when we build a house on someone else’s property – they own it, when we sin- we hurt others. All of our actions, good or bad, have consequences in our lives, if not now…down the road. Often, we selfishly may claim the only person we are hurting with our actions is ourselves, but in reality we often hurt those around us as much or more with our poor choices. So, we may be tempted to step over the line and hope we don’t get caught, but it is almost always better in the long run to steer clear of any debate and stay well with bounds. Your team will be glad you did!
Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers. Galatians 6:9-10
Courage in Christ,