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Topic: Breaking the Rules (08/16/04)
TITLE: People Who Break Rules Are Fools
By Lynda Lee Schab
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Rules are made to be broken - just ask my mom. She has gotten more than a few speeding tickets. Sometimes she even tries using the "my husband's a cop" or "my nephew's a State Trooper" line to save herself from having to pay. Both of these statements are true, by the way. But because I am such a good daughter I have to say, in my mother's defense, she didn't realize she was going so fast!
Rules are made to be broken - just ask the seventeen-year olds drinking beer at the rowdy party next door. Ask any teenager who stays out past curfew because they know better than their parents what time is appropriate for them to come home. Just ask the high-schooler who skips school. The boy who gets caught cheating on a test. The girl who sneaks out of her bedroom window at night.
Other people who might agree that rules were made to be broken include Adam and Eve - that fruit just looked too delicious to pass up! And David, who took one look at Bathsheba and chose to overlook the rule about married women being off-limits. And Zacchaeus - he may have been a wee little man but the dollar signs covering his eyes were huge!
Yep, rules are made to be broken. Just ask Mike Tyson, who not only broke the rules, but also the skin on Evander Holyfield's ear! Ask Lorena Bobbit, who felt her breaking a rule was justified because her husband broke one first. Ask Bill Clinton, who broke so many rules he couldn't even remember breaking them! Ask Jimmy Swaggart. Jim Baker. Pete Rose. Martha Stewart. Rules were made to be broken, all right.
You can even ask me - I've broken my share. I suppose the one I've broken the most often is the Mother of All Rules: "You shall have no other gods before me." I think of the times I called a friend for advice before calling on God. When I put reading a "good book" before reading the Bible. When a television show came before going to church. When I put my "need" for money before tithing.
People who break rules are fools. The reason I say this is because only a fool would want to suffer the consequences! My kids get punished. My mom gets a speeding ticket (okay, maybe not). Students get detention or suspension. The compulsive gambler goes bankrupt. The adulterer reaps a broken marriage. The rapist goes to jail. I reap disorganization, confusion, and unrest when I don't put God first. Then there's the ex-president who reaps a slap on the wrist and a million-dollar book contract! But even when it seems like someone has gotten away with breaking the rules, we can rest assured that they will reap what they sow. As it says in Galatians 6:7-8, "Do not be deceived; God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life."
Some rules truly ARE made to be broken -just ask the missionary who's smuggled Bibles into China. Ask the Caucasian who befriended a Black man during the days of slavery. Ask the woman who's had to kill in self defense. Read about Moses's mother who ignored the rule that she kill her son and instead placed him safely in a basket on top of the water. Or read about Daniel who refused the rule to pray to King Darius. Or about Paul who went against the authorities that commanded him to stop preaching the gospel.
Actually, most rules are made not to be broken but to be obeyed. However, any rule that goes against God's Word is just begging to be broken, because The Bible IS the only, true book of rules.
What's that, Mom? No, I doubt there's anything in there about speeding…