What rules do you have in your head for yourself, for others? You know you have them because you get upset when one of them gets broken! I know I have a “mental rulebook” – here are a few of my rules:
- Don’t interrupt me when I am reading, especially if I am deeply involved in the book!
- Don’t interrupt me when I am watching a movie, especially if I am deeply involved in the movie!
- Don’t mix patterns, stripes with plaid for example, this is a rule I apply only to myself. I see other people do this all the time and it looks great on them, I can never make it work for me and I hate those people who can pull it off!
- Keep to the right when driving, biking, walking in the mall, airport, park or on the sidewalk – just do it!
- Stop asking your precious toddlers what they want – period. They’re the kids, you’re the adult – decide, they don’t have a clue and you sound ridiculous!
- I don’t lend books. I bought it cause I want it and you probably won’t return it anyway, don’t ask to borrow it and if I offer it to you just keep it and don’t try to pretend you forgot to return it.
- Do not leave dirty dishes in my sink – if you use it, wash it. Yes, wash it by hand since I don’t have a dishwasher.
- I do not want to sit at the table with a dirty dish in front of me. Server, clear the table right away please and if you eat at my house I WILL take your dish away as soon as you are done eating.
- Stop putting toilet paper on the seat in the public restroom – the seat is cleaner than the faucets and door handles and if you are one of these nuts make sure you flush it away when you are done – yuk!
I could go on but you get the idea. People see Christianity as a religion with lots of rules; this could not be further from the truth. Christianity is a relationship that follows two simple rules: Love the Lord your God and Love your neighbor as yourself. Can you imagine the transformation that would result if we practiced this law of love?
If I truly loved God, I would talk to Him constantly. I would rush to spend time with Him and spend as much time with Him as possible. I would start to resemble Him, being forgiving, gracious and merciful, patient and understanding. I would want to give Him a gift, a gift He really wanted, a gift that would bring Him joy – my heart is what he wants most.
If I could love my neighbor as myself I’d be glad to give all my books away. Interruptions would be seen as divine appointments. Your litter and dirty dishes would just be a way I could serve you as I would like to be served. If I could love my neighbor as myself, I would see you as God sees you. God sees you as so precious, so worthy, so important that Jesus died for you. God understands your pain, your sin, your uniqueness, He knows what makes you happy, He knows what you need, He loves you – I need to love you the same way. God also holds us accountable for our actions, He does not protect us or prevent us from experiencing the consequences of our decisions – I also need to love you like that. I can’t be your doormat, enabler or stumbling block so clean up your litter, control your kids and wash your dishes!
I know I have far to go in obedience to these two rules. So simple but not easy…
P.S. This post was inspired by a fellow blogger, you can read the inspiration post here: Me – Who Am I?
What unspoken rule is in your mental rulebook? I’d like to read it – add it in the comments…