Rules, Freedom And Joy

A popular kid’s movie has the lead character singing the following line:

No right, no wrong, no rules for me.
I’m free.

Rules restrict freedom – Reality or a fairy tale?

This comes from the box office smash “Frozen”. Undoubtedly, some of you have had your kids burn this into your memories by sheer force of repetition.

Why Rules?

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
Jesus in John 10:10

Our actions have consequences. That’s why God has given us commandments to live by. Here’s a popular way of illustrating this point:

“You’re playing a game of soccer when someone in the opposing team decides they want to pick up the ball and run. The umpire whistles but he ignores this while knocking over one of your team mates. Sick of the umpire whistling and waving a red card, another opposition player decides to knock out the umpire as the rest of your team mates start to get a belting from the other players – literally.
Which is the better situation, the above or a game of soccer by the rules, what you actually signed up for?”

So rather than being cosmic killjoy, God gives us these laws to make life more enjoyable. Those who do otherwise make life less enjoyable. They steal, kill and destroy the joy of life.
Just as soccer isn’t soccer without soccer rules being enforced, life isn’t life without honouring God’s rules. Ignoring God’s rules leaves you with a life lesser lived, joy lesser tasted and freedom restricted.

Violating God’s rules violates everything else.


If all that still sounds rather restrictive, let’s look at it in another way. Here’s an extract from a book on photography…

“Limitations Are Not Liabilities.

It seems to be inherent in our nature to overcomplicate things. We want every tool we use to have more options and do more for us. Just look at the convergence of all the technology around us. Every gadget has to do everything. Watch what happens when a new camera hits the market. New features are added every year. I won’t be surprised if, in a few years, our pro-level DSLRs can fly us to the moon, provide life support, and maybe shoot a picture or two while we are there. It’s all driven by the manufacturers’ desire to sell more product and keep their shareholders happy. We take the bait every time and start to believe that if our camera just had that one extra feature for that one tiny hurdle that we may one day face, we will be better photographers.

I would argue that less is actually creatively more. The less you have to think about setting up your camera and which piece of gear to use, the better. It lets you apply more brain power to shooting creatively and will speed up your progression as a photographer.”

Al Smith from eyePhone.

More gear takes away from the reason you’re there. Beyond a certain point, adding more gear distracts from taking a photograph.
Beyond God’s rules are distractions from the fullness of life. Options beyond what He has designed for us takes away from the joy He intended.

Stick to His plan. In the end, it’s simpler and more fun.

Related: 2 Commandments and The Easy Life


Image © Kevin Tam

Join the conversation