Like many of you, I grew up with a faith system filled with rules and more rules. Many of those rules helped shape my life, and many of them seem so ridiculous that they reshaped my life.
I have discovered that the detours the Divine has placed in my life, weren’t founded in rules, but rather grounded in grace.
We seem to hang on to rules, codes, labels and creeds as they identify us and help us discover a sense of spiritual accomplishment. But that brief sense of accomplishment, as we declare success through keeping the rules is fleeting.
I’ve discovered something far more powerful and resilient. I’ve found peace and I’ve found freedom. But not in following man made rules. I’ve found the peace and freedom in Christ and Christ alone. Having stripped away the labels that cause us to pick sides, as if we were going to war with people that fly a different flag of creeds, rules and codes.
John Wayne once said, “A man’s gotta have a code, a creed to live by…”
Creeds, rules and codes are good. But they fall apart when the rule-makers and rule-proclaimers fail to keep them. Whether by choice or in the face of opposition, rules eventually break down. What we do when they cease to work says more about us than any code or creed ever could.
Paul makes a huge case for this in Romans, chapter 2 beginning in verse 17. My friend, stop for a moment and read what he said.
Set your soul on a course that strips away the baggage of denominational, preferential, credal and coded rules. Set aside the code of success that causes us to use one another for temporal success and keeps us from surrendering our hearts to the only rules that matter, according to the Divine:
Matthew 22:37-40 And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. 38 This is the great and first commandment. 39 And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. 40 On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Set aside your labels and experience the freedom only Christ can bring into your heart and soul. I can promise you that all of our rules, codes, labels, flags and creeds will cease to exist, while He will reign for an eternity.