I liked to play board games when I was growing up, especially Monopoly. I did not get to play too often because it usually took too long. A few years back some friends and I were talking about how much we enjoyed playing so we decided to get together one Friday night and play a game for old time’s sake. None of us had ever played with each other before.
When the big night came we sat down to set up the board and the banker started giving everybody their money when one of the guys asked about a certain rule that he used to use when he played. This let to a discussion that showed that we all had a different set of rules that we played by! We decided to read the actual rules and see what they said. It turned out that none of us actually played by the exact rules that came with the game. We wound up settling on our own set of rules and had an enjoyable evening.(Even though I lost!!)
How important are the rules? In a friendly game of Monopoly setting your own rules might be OK. If you were playing in some type of competitive tournament you would expect the organizers of the competition to set the rules. Most people in the workplace to expect a set of work rules that is fair to all. The same is true in marriage. In any type of relationship there is some type of “rules” that define the relationship, whether written or unwritten. How well the relationship works depends on how well all parties involved go by the rules.
All this leads to my question for today, “What rules define our relationship with God?”. The natural response might be to say the bible, but is that really the case in our lives. I am afraid that sometimes we might be like we were with our Monopoly rules, basing them on some traditions we learned from someone else. I can think of several instances where I heard someone talking about what the bible said when it actually did not say it. The other person was not trying to deceive me with what they were saying; they had simply been misinformed by someone else.
There are other times people want to create their own rules because they do not like God’s rules. This makes me think about the story of Namaan(2Kings 5:1-13). God provided a way for him to be cured of his leprosy but he did not like it and asked why it could not be some other way. In the end he followed God’s way and he was cured. We must be careful to avoid thinking we can define how the relationship with God should work. After all, God is our creator(Genesis 1), He is wiser than us(Isaiah 55:8-9), and He sent His son to be a sacrifice for our sins(Romans 8:3).
I hope these thoughts have been of some help. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.