Scripture: from verse 23
[Traditional rules ]have the outward appearance of wisdom, but they have no value at all in restraining people from indulging their old nature.
Observation: Here is the guideline we should be using when we choose what rules and traditions to follow: does it help me avoid my sin nature? Does it help me love others and love God?
I find it easier to love people after I post on this blog. Apparently spending a short time thinking about God’s grace and love helps me see others in a more gracious light. Sometimes I even do it right before a social situation that might be difficult, in the hope that I’ll navigate it more easily. It seems to help. So that’s why I do it. I miss days, and I will probably keep missing days for as long as I do it, but I’m not doing it as a demonstration of how disciplined I am. I’m doing it because it helps me to love better.
My husband keeps kosher (avoids eating the animals listed as unclean in Leviticus) because it helps him love God and love others. I don’t really get it, to be honest, but I keep kosher to support him. Because it’s good for our family and our community.
And there’s a lot of rules out there about what Christians should eat and not eat, wear and not wear, read and listen to and do and visit. I generally ignore them, unless I find one that helps me love God better. Because that’s the only thing that matters.
Application: Pursue love. Don’t worry about things that don’t help you love God and love others.
Prayer: Holy Spirit, thank you for being there to guide me. Please help me to live wisely. Amen.