Have you ever been overwhelmed by rules and expectations? There are so many rules in my life there is no way I can keep them all. In fact, there is no way I can even know them all!!! Pro golfers have been penalized and disqualified and lost thousands of dollars for violating rules they didn’t know existed. One of the more famous incidents was Craig Staddler. He hit his ball under a pine tree. He had to hit the ball from his knees. In order to keep from getting pine tar on his pants, he placed a towel on the ground and knelt on the towel. He played the shot and finished his round before learning you can’t use a towel to keep your pants clean! He was disqualified! Rules have to be obeyed – even dumb rules that make no sense!
Some one, with a lot of time on their hands, has figured out there are over 600 rules in the OT. There are more rules besides the 10 Commandments. It would be nice if all we had to live by were the 10 Commandments. I would have a pretty good chance of keeping them. But, you know what Jesus did, he got it down to 2 Rules – just 2 rules. Here they are: Love the Lord your God (Matthew 22:37) and, Love your neighbor as yourself (Matthew 22:39). Jesus was able to simplify over 600 rules into 2! If you can follow those 2 rules you will keep every rule!
One of the great passages of scripture to me is 2 Corinthians 5:14: The love of Christ controls us… Years ago I read that verse out of The New English Bible, The love of Christ leaves me no choice… I have always remembered and appreciated that rendering of the verse. If I have no choice it makes it easier to choose the right thing. Hmmmm… Do I go to Bible Class or to a school activity – The love of Christ leaves me no choice. Do I give money to the church or buy that new set of golf clubs – The love of Christ leaves me no choice. Do I harbor ill feelings toward someone who has done me wrong or do I forgive and forget and get on with my life – The love of Christ leaves me no choice.
Eliminate choices… do what’s right… do what God wants me to do… and life becomes much simpler to live.