Daily Devotionals

Devotional: October 14th

Whether we like it or not, rules are rules. There are always those who feel like rules were meant for the other person. Kind of a "you-obey-the-rules-so-I-don't-have-to" type of thing. It is like those of us who report the money we make to the government and faithfully pay taxes on it while others make money "under the table" and defraud the government of money in taxes that is rightfully due. Oops. I hope that didn't offend anybody. I mean, if you don't want to pay taxes that is your right; well not your right, but I guess it's okay to do it; well, really it's still against the law and technically it's stealing from the government.

Ah yes, rules are rules. What's the speed limit again, Tom? And you drive how fast? Yes, but I stay right except to pass, use my turn signals, don't tailgate (too much) and try my best to drive with the other driver's needs in mind. But isn't 72 still faster than 65? Yeah. It is. And it's against the law. Rationalization is the enemy of the honest law-abiding person. As long as we can rationalize that we are good people and what we are doing is not really that terrible we can continue to do it.

Over the past several weeks I have talked to two different people about the same thing; gas pump drive-aways. That's people who fill their tank and then take off without paying. One person was the culprit. He filled his tank and then just drove off and never looked back. His rationale? "I guess I showed those big oil people," was his comment. The other person was the store manager of the very store where the guy stole the gas. I asked him about drive-aways. "They think they're hurting the gas company, but they're not," he said. "We still have to pay for the gas they bring whether it's stolen or not. Then we have to recover the cost however we can." That "however we can" is by raising the prices on the quick sale items by a few cents.

That's the rub. The shoplifter, the drive-away; they are basically thieves that selfishly feed their own needs while the rest of us literally pay for it. Rules are rules. They were not made to be broken, they were made to be followed so everyone affected by them can benefit from their protection. That is why the rules are there. Rules are made to protect you and me from each other. We are still the greatest national threat. Not terrorists, not natural disasters; us. Our greed, our carelessness, our disregard, our selfishness; they are the reason rules are laid down. We who call ourselves Christians are especially held to this.

"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God. Therefore whoever resists the authority resists the ordinance of God, and those who resist will bring judgment on themselves. For rulers are not a terror to good works but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good and you will have praise from the same. For he is God's minister to you for good." Romans 13:1-4 Okay, Christians. Time to back off the gas pedal and report all income. After all, rules aren't just rules; they're God's rules.

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