Those Who Love To Tell Others What To Do

There are two types of people–there are always two types of people, I guess. The two I thought I’d talk about today are those who love to tell other people what to do and those who do not like to be told what to do.

I’m proudly in the second camp.

I don’t know how that came about. Maybe I was born that way. Or maybe because neither of my parents were self-confident enough to order us around. I’m not positive about my brothers, but I think they are not the ordering around type either.

When I teach, I prefer to guide. When my kids were growing up, I preferred to guide and suggest rather than order them around (after that early stage of discipline where you have to set the limits and provide strict guidance).

That is some of the problems that Jesus initiated with his message. Since the time of Moses, the Jewish religion was primarily a religion of laws–people ordering other people to do certain things in order to be right with God. There were exceptions, of course, but this passing on of strict laws was the norm.

Jesus came along and said the important thing is not simply obeying a set of laws made up by other people who loved telling others what to do. Jesus said what matters is what is in your heart–that is, what matters is your own attitude and motivation.

Paul tried to explain this, but his explanations often became a little complicated. Then other people came later who tried the first method of developing laws out of Paul’s words and then ordering people around. The whole process started again–this time under the guise of being Christ-followers.

Let’s just go back to where Jesus was. If your attitude and motivation are to live with God, then you will naturally live a good life (allowing for the sins that come through the fallibility of being human). Jesus came to redeem us from a life of being bossed around, and from a life of guilt and shame from our shortcomings (sins), and to release us with love to live with-God and for others.

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