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The One About the Rules (Part 3 of 4)

We make rules. We bend rules. Humanly speaking, there’s really no difference between ours and theirs except power. I know I sound like Nietzsche and Foucault. But those guys were right really. Without God, it’s all about power.


Recently I found a couple of ugly and public things said about me. Honestly, it hurt. I probably shouldn’t let it, but it did. In both cases, the commenters were imposing their rules of propriety on me. They were judge, jury, and executioner. In passing their judgment, they put me at arms length to improve their own standing with little empathy for me and mine.

And in my saying all that, I’m trying to understand how they came to those conclusions and to remember how often I do the same.

I’ve perceived a lot of rules lately. I’ve seen the irritation from people who were frustrated by my dear four-and-a-half-year-old when he dresses as Link and wears all his weapons at once. I’ve felt the disgust when I’ve taken my preschoolers for a walk where someone has deemed I shouldn’t. I’ve heard people complain about how ill-tempered those other children are. I’ve read Mommy bloggers who grouse about those horrible mothers who cut off the crusts from their PB&J sandwiches.

Even now, I’m sure some of you are constructing reasons I shouldn’t have a clip from Friends on my blog. “Dear me! Can you believe that? Doesn’t she know that that’s an anti-Christian show and that she’s promoting unholy living by posting it on her blog? ‘I will set no wicked thing before my eyes!’ I would never do that!”

Sigh. . . . We can so easily see the fleck of mascara on someone else’s face, but those rivers of black eye liner that are streaked down our cheeks? We’re oblivious to those. And I do the same thing.

Grant often repeats back to me, “S/he’s not evil, just mistaken.” When he does that, he’s reminding me of my own take on a Burkean principle and what I believe is a Christian ethic. He’s right — to nudge me and to bring me outside of myself. To steer me away from the fundamental attribution error. We all need that kind of help. That’s why God gave us each other because when one of us stumbles, we need our friends there to help us up.

Sanctification is a team sport after all.

2 thoughts on “The One About the Rules (Part 3 of 4)

  1. Grant’s quote brings “Hanlon’s (or Heinlein’s) Razor” to mind:
    “Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity”.

    Also, I wholeheartedly agree that sanctification is indeed a team sport! What a great way to put it!

  2. “Well, I guess that’s the difference between us….I’d never make a list”

    I watched the clip to see what relationship it might have to your post aside from being an example of what some Christians say Christians shouldn’t post.

    What a punch line there at the end. Wow. I guess that is the difference between people and how God sees us in Christ. No list. As far as East from West, that’s how far he has put the stuff that some person or other might put on a list.

    That is such a relief, isn’t it?

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