As the kids were riding their bikes, you could hear the chatter.. remember “don’t go above the white line”. The white line was like the Berlin Wall…you did not pass the white line or you were in trouble. It was painted across the top of our street to remind the kids not to ride near the top of our street where cars used to zip in off Mountain Avenue. It was a “safety regulation”. The regulation was not to limit the kid’s fun, but to keep them safe.
The Bible has a number of “white lines” … guidelines to keep God’s people safe and free from harm. Some people think that all God does is tell us the things that we can’t do…”don’t do this, don’t do that.” In truth, God want us to enjoy life and to be happy, but he also knows that there are some things that will harm us and he cautions us to stay away from them. He does it out of his love for us, not because he doesn’t want us to enjoy life.
The 10 commandments include a lot of “thou shall nots….”, but think about life without these prohibitions. Who wants to live among a group of people whose normal life is to “murder, steal, commit adultery, dishonor their parents, hate God and blaspheme him, hate his neighbor”….. who would want to live like that? In reality that sounds like hell. God warns us of these deadly behaviors.
With this said, most of the Bible is not about prohibitions, but about God’s mercy and tenderness and love. It focuses on how valuable we are to God, how he wants to share his life with us, how he’s preparing a place for us in heaven. He calls us to obedience because God’s will for us is joy and happiness. If we do what he tells us, we will be happy. Sometimes it may not be easy and may involve discipline and suffering. Yet, it “yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who are trained by it.” (Hebrews 12:11)
So, don’t crab about God’s “white lines”. If we follow his guidelines, we will have a great life on earth and a magnificent life in heaven one day.