Posted on | August 24, 2012 | 1 Comment
Yesterday, I listed 5 arguments that says rules can be bad for you. Rule keeping robs you of your freedom, blinds you to life’s important values and standards, turns you into an unthinking robot and makes you unloving in the way you deal with other man’s need.
But that’s only half of the story. With negative comes the other end of the spectrum. What is there to be said on the other side? Well, plenty!
Allow me to list a few of the arguments why Rules are Better for everybody.
1. Rules safeguards your freedom. More than rob you of your freedom, rules guard your freedom. You may ask, “How can they possibly safeguard it?”
Everything depends on the way you define ‘freedom’. If you think first of being free from things, rules are irritating intrusion into your personal liberty. But if you focus instead on freedom for living a successful life, a few well-chosen rules can do a lot to enhance your prospects.
There is a small village in the northern US where people there enjoy what they have, though they have not got very much. But the feature of village life which used to astonish me is that most of them leave the keys in their front doors when they go out. And their cars stay unlocked. In that small, untypical community, the need for security is not so great because theft is less of a problem.
Given the choice, I know where I would prefer to live as a free man. In a society where everybody observe the eight commandment(you shall not steal), personal liberty is enhanced, not lessened.
2. Rules make social life possible. Chaos reigns when individuals are allowed to express their personal sets of values unchecked. A man may value patriotism highly, but honesty hardly at all. Many terrorists are keen patriots too. The bomb-makers have their own standards. But I doubt if you would agree with him that he has every right to bomb the twin tower building, just because he must be allowed to express his personal values freely.
If we are to live freely in a community, we need firm laws against homicide as well as stealing.
3. Rules helps us make our minds up. God didn’t make human beings as unthinking robots. He gave us minds and he means us to reason our way through to sensible conclusions. Rules and laws provide us with a solid framework within which we can use our minds to work out right solutions to life’s problems.
I knew two couples who discover who discovered this truth in a way that surprised them. Outwardly, their marriages were stable and happy. But one husband fell in love with the other man’s wife. She found him very attractive, too.
A touch led to a hug and a hug to a kiss. You can guess the rest. They stopped short of sexual intercourse – until one evening they discussed the possibility openly and weighted up all the negatives and pros sensibly. Their conclusion was clear. It would be right for them to have sex. It seemed the most loving thing to do. But they never did it. They were held back by the 7th commandment, “do not commit adultery.”
In hindsight, they are very thankful they didn’t do it. The long term consequences for their children, for their jobs and for themselves would have been devastating. Why did they not see that at the time?
4. Rules provide love with solid backbone. Letting love guide all our decisions sounds fine – so long as we are absolutely clear what love is. And I can assure you, the odds are against us if we try to find a clear definition. In our culture. ‘love’ can mean anything from going to bed with someone you fancy (‘I make love’) to treating a pet affectionately (‘i love my kitten’) or enjoying the food and scenery on holiday (‘I love chocolates and mountains’). Claiming love as your guideline is rather like draping your car with Christmas tree lights, removing the headlamps, and setting off up the motorway at night in a fog. Your guess as to how that will work out is as good as mine.
5. We have a Rule-maker we can trust. At the heart of our dislike is a mistrust of the people who make and enforce the rules. But God’s laws are good for you. This is that message of the Bible.
We could do much worse than echo John Wesley’s bold words:
I cannot spare the law one moment, no more than I can spare Christ. Seeing I now want it, as much, to keep me to Christ, as ever I wanted it to bring me to Him.
Unlike any human nanny, God really does know how human life can be lived at its best. And that makes submission to his authority exciting as well as rewarding. In a word, we can trust the divine Rule-maker.
For all the goodness in man comes from his maker. Any man-made rule is an expression of his innate desire to have a semblance of good.
P.S. Please always SHARE the love!