Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Love not Rules

The Instructions for Economic Life provide guidance to God’s people for living together in a new land. His main goal was that they learn to love their neighbours (Love 19:18).

God is not a control freak. He wants his people to be free, so he did not give detailed regulations spelt out in black and white, but gave general principles and left the people to work out how to apply them by thinking about how they could love their neighbour.

The Pharisees wanted detailed rules, down to the level of which herbs to tithe on (Matt 23:23). But God is not interested in rules-based behaviour, he wants love motivated behaviour. Following detailed rules is often easier because it does not require thinking, but that was not what God wanted. He gave general instructions for economic behaviour and left his people to work out want they meant while loving their neighbours.

The principle applies even more in the age of the Spirit. The Instructions for Economic Life are not detailed rules. They provide general boundaries, but our daily actions must be shaped by loving one another within their guidance (Rom 13:10). Likewise, the Holy Spirit does not give us detailed minute-by-minute instructions on what to do each day. He teaches us how to apply God’s general Instructions for Economic Life while living one another by prompting and questioning.

No comments: