Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Law and Love

Last week my parents were visiting from Colorado. It was overcast and rainy a couple of the days. During one of those overcast days, Aubrey wanted to go cycling. It hadn't rained in a while, and the roads were dry, so she asked if I thought it was ok to go. Now, Aubrey is an adult, and she doesn't normally have to ask my permission to go for a bike ride. So she mentioned off-handedly to my mom that I don't like for her to go riding in the dark or in the rain, both situations which make it difficult for drivers to see cyclists. My mom joked that I was kind of a legalist for imposing so many rules. (See, I guess my love of nerdy theological jokes is inherited.)

Unfortunately this is the way some people think about the law of God. They see all the rules, and assume that God is just a big kill-joy, who loves rules for the sake of rules.

However, the reason I don't like Aubrey riding her bike in the dark or in the rain on busy roads is because I love her very much. I love her enough that I don't like when she does dangerous things. I believe that when God gives rules for his people that his motivation is the same. He loves us very much, and won't have us doing things that don't promote long life and happiness. Because God knows that slander, idolatry, anger, sloth and covetousness don't tend toward life, he tells us to avoid them. He loves us too much to allow us to do things that will only damage ourselves. God is not a kill-joy, rather, he won't permit us to kill our own joy through sin. He knows what is good for us!

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