Awesome Rules

Do you have some rules? Here are some of our favorites

A friend has this on his fridge: “Rule 1: My wife is always right. Rule 2: If my wife is wrong, please refer to rule #1. Thank you.”

If you’ve met a toddler you know they have rules:

“If I want it, it’s mine.”

“If I can take it away from you, it’s mine.”

“If it’s mine, it must never appear to be yours in any way.”

“If I give it to you and change my mind later, it’s mine.”

Grownups come up with strange rules too.

In Massachusetts it is illegal to have a gorilla in the backseat of your car. Bingo games cannot last longer than 5 hours in North Carolina. I can’t imagine playing bingo longer than 30 seconds, so that one’s fine by me.

I was speaking to a secular audience when someone asked, “What religion are you?” 500 people collectively sucked in their breath and held it. Knowing that many see nothing but rules when they think of my faith, I said, “I’m sorry to disappoint you but I’m not religious. I’ve tried it and I’m not very good at it. I simply can’t keep all the rules. But I’m a follower of Jesus of Nazareth. He’s made all the difference.” There was an audible sigh of relief and they leaned in until I was finished 30 minutes later.

Most in our culture think religion equals doing. A friend caught up in a cult told me, “It was all about good works. Earning my way. I knew I could never be good enough.” Do good deeds. There’s a lot of doo doo out there. But Christianity is not about doing, it’s about what’s been done. Religion is about man reaching up. Christianity is about God coming down. Jesus, the Son of God, came and died that we might live. He saves us by grace when we believe. Salvation is not some reward for the good things we’ve done. If it was, we’d just go boast about it. Instead, we give thanks for what God has done, for His awesome gift of grace, and we pass it along.

Such an outlook brings peace, hope, and joy that brings laughter along with it. But be careful. In Alabama it is illegal to wear a fake moustache that causes laughter in church. I kid you not.

Want to read more from Phil?

3 min read

Life’s Greatest Ironies

Ironies sometime cause me to smile. Like this sign at a mall maintenance shop. “We can repair anything. Please knock…

3 min read

Three Letters From Teddy

As a kid, I preferred firecrackers to Math textbooks. So imagine the irony of me preparing to speak to 12,000…

3 min read

Sophie’s Choice

Where to go when people drive you crazy One Sunday a small boy turned around in church, leaned toward my…