When I woke up this morning I had this thought, I was a rule breaker. How can that be? I have always considered myself a rule follower. I’ve even described myself to other people as a rule follower. But it seems the Holy Spirit wanted to point some things out to me.
I’m using the Noom app and I’m supposed to log my meals each day. At first I followed the rules, trying to be as accurate as possible. Then I discovered that there are ways to cheat the system and appear to be doing better than I actually am. Like, one chocolate hazelnut butter is red and another comes up yellow. Or my homemade cashew milk comes up red, but a national brand comes up green. I hunt through the lists of food to find the one that is the better choice. Now, granted, there isn’t a rule that I have to be accurate or that I even have to log my meals. It’s just a tool. So really I’m only fooling myself.
I used to work at a grocery store and I would be critical of people trying to work the system and get a better deal using coupons and double coupons and having their order divided so they could buy more than what the limit allowed. Often times I would enforce the company’s rules with my customers. Yet, even I would ask for special privileges at times because I worked there. Every time it ate at my conscience.
I see that not only am I a rule breaker, but I am a schemer, too! I try to make it appear as though I am following the rules! Oh, and that leads me to justifying my actions, and comparing myself to others thinking I’m not like those people.
Certain scriptures came to mind: Romans 8:23 says we all fall short, Mark 10:18 says no one is good, and 1 John 1:8 says we deceive ourselves if we say we have no sin.
In fact, so many scriptures are coming to my mind, I think I could write a book! Oh wait! God already took care of that!
So how do I, as a person who thrives with the boundaries of having rules, process the guilt of knowing I break them? I look at the title of my blog — The Far Reaches of Grace — and I remind myself why I chose that name. Ephesians 2:13 says that once I was far away. But now I’m in Christ and near to him, by his blood.
I have been a believer for many years and I’d like to think I’m a good person. But isn’t that how all people think? Some religions believe that we can achieve an upgrade in our next life by thinking the right way or doing the right things. I don’t believe that’s true. With all the generations that have lived, we should be living in a far better world by now. All I see are broken people just like me.
So what is the Holy Spirit trying to show me? Number one: I’m not going to get good enough to live without him; and number two: Don’t hold the opinion that I am better than someone else.
Peace & Grace,