We’re born into a life with many rules and regulations. And much of this is for our benefit, particularly when we’re young and we don’t yet know how to stand on our own two feet. But, in time, maturity calls us to step outside of any box of limitations that holds us back from fully embracing the life God has given us to live.
Of course, parents provide many rules for their kids growing up – having a set bedtime, for example. But the point of parenting is not just to get our kids to follow the rules. Rather it’s to help them to grow and mature and make wise decisions on their own. And this is missed whenever an individual is expected to follow the same rules as an adult as when he was a kid.
Each culture and society also comes with many norms and expectations – rules for the proper behavior of its citizens. And while most of these standards are based on universal principles, blind traditions and political correctness often takes the place of meaningful regulations. And good citizens might have to break current social norms to restore basic elements of truth and goodness.
Likewise, religious communities are not spared this dilemma either. All too often we insist on following our rules and traditions rather than the Spirit of God in our life. While traditions have much to offer us, in the end, they are to serve us in our life with God, not rob us of enjoying to the full the life God through Christ has given us.
Whatever it looks like, we must regularly step back and consider if we’re being held back by well meaning but ultimately empty rules that do not lead us into a deeper life with God.
Humbly learn from the many rules and traditions initially given to you. And grow in the practice of your faith by also stepping outside of the box of these surface expectations to discover the fullness of life God has for you.