Rules and Regulations

DSC_1363Guidelines, restrictions, do’s and don’ts; laws, decrees

Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly. Dahli Lama

Imagination rules the world. Napoleon Bonaparte

You are remembered for the rules you break. Douglas MacArthur  

   “Rules are made to be broken” is a phrase that should be understood and appreciated. There are those who abide by rules and there are those who seldom follow any rules. Rule breakers are held in contempt by rule followers and are often considered heroes by other rule breakers. Rules have their place and perform a very important function. At the same time, they can be too many, too confining and too restricting.

     Rules are like fences used to keep sheep and other animals contained. If not pinned in, they go astray, roam; have to be found, and cared for. Sheep cannot think for themselves and do not know their best interests. They need a shepherd watching over them. Do humans need shepherds watching over them as well?

    Rules, regulations, and laws are actually fences used to keep us contained inside designated boundaries. There are good and bad aspects to boundaries.  There are always places we may need to stay away from. There is danger, mischief, and bad things waiting when we get outside safe and known boundaries. Fences are also, imprisoning, confining, and can rob us of our quality of life. If we are too contained, restricted or regulated, we become too complacent, weak-willed, and overly passive. There is a cost for us having too many rules.

     Rules and regulations are necessary to contain and control those lacking principles, morals and ethics. The more society lives by standards, integrity and the Golden Rule, the less it needs others making even more. Rules are necessary for those going too far, taking advantages, and lacking common decency and character. Living in a society, means some are chosen, elected, or even will take charge to rule, govern, and keep us contained inside our fences. Some shepherds do not always make good rules; they can go too far.

    It becomes too easy to have so many rules that go too far that take away our freedoms, restrict options, and regulate us to sheep-like existence. There are costs and consequences for us giving up our individuality to the group.  There should be balance between good rules and too many rules; too many restrictions and maintaining choices.  When rules start going too far; we give up too much; when rule makers lose sight of their purpose; we lose something. When we have too many rules and unwise rules; we start becoming more sheep-like than human.

Challenge: The more you have standards and principles the less likely you need someone who tells you what to do and think. With freedom goes responsibility and accountability. Rule makers should be held accountable and responsible just as you are. If you do not stand up for yourself, then someone will assume you do not care or are incapable. Rest assured rule makers are prone to making more and more of your decisions for you. 

Wisdom: Principles and rules are intended to provide a thinking man with a frame of reference. K  V Clausewitz   

Spiritual: (NIV)

His God instructs him and teaches him the right Way. Isaiah 28:26

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:6

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you. Psalm 32:8

Humans are designed to be above other animals; living life requiring responsibility and accountability to God. Some do fairly well at this; others are anything but responsible. Man-made rules and regulations become necessary to maintain some semblance of order. The secular world is in revolt against God. It is imperfect and always will be. If we followed God’s rules and guidance, man’s imperfect rules would no longer be necessary.

Prayer: Help me to accept things I should accept and to not accept things that I should not accept.


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