We have rules and regulations to protect the innocent, punish the guilty, preserve the peace, and promote the general welfare. There’s just one problem…they don’t work!
Deuteronomy chapter 21 gives rules and regulations about a variety of things. When you read it, you can’t help but wonder why they needed all these specific rules and regulations.
The same is true today. There are more rules and regulations in our world than we can probably count, and we keep making more. Why? Because they don’t work! We keep finding new ways to break them, or new offenses that need new rules and regulations.
It’s not that rules and regulations are wrong, or that we should do away with them. (Even God saw the need for at least ten commandments.) It’s just that the problem(s) addressed by these rules and regulations will never be solved by regulating what we do with our hands. More than regulating our hands, we need to renovate our hearts. More than behavioral change, we need personal change…for what we do comes out of who we are. (Matt. 15:19)
There is a deep and pervasive limp in our very nature that leads us to be rule breakers. And we can’t fix this on our own. The law can’t cut it, because we can’t follow it. Yet, rather than being burdened by this, we belly up to the bar of self-sufficiency and order another round of rules.
We don’t need a new law; we need a new heart. We need to let God change the law of our heart. (Hebrews 10:16) Then we will have the power and desire to follow the laws and regulations we have…not out of obligation or fear of punishment, but out of love. (Rom. 7:6,7,14)
Are you paying more attention to the rules and regulations, or to the renovation of your heart?