Training Wheels

When I was six I got my very first bike. It was a birthday present. It had fenders, a chain guard, and a headlight that ran off the front wheel as you pedaled. At that time this was what we called “neato”. It’s a dated term, I know, but then I’m a bit dated myself. And it had training wheels. People often misunderstand the reason for training wheels. They think they’re made to keep you from falling. That’s only a partial truth. The real reason for training wheels is to help you learn how to ride.

The Pharisees were great at keeping rules. Honestly. If they were around today they would make good-looking church goers. Note that I didn’t say good church goers. Jesus condemned them. He never said they didn’t keep the rules. As a matter of fact He said they were so good at it that they even tithed the mint leaves from their home garden. If you’ll read what He said to them you’ll see that He never condemned them for keeping the rules. He condemned them because they had forgotten what the rules were for.

Training wheels aren’t  there to keep you from falling. That’s not their primary purpose. They were made to help you learn how to ride. It’s important to remember that.
God’s laws, the rules, aren’t there to keep us from falling. Neither are they there to worry us or make us scrupulous or wear us out in the numbering of them. The old law had well over 600 precepts. That could wear a person out trying to keep tabs, keep track of it all. But the primary purpose of the law gets overlooked, forgotten, when people forget what the rules are for. The reason for the rules is simple. They are meant to teach us how to love. When we fall with the bike it tells us that something is wrong with our balance, our technique. When we break a rule its a sure sign that there is a problem on our part with our relationship with God.

But don’t take my word for it. Please read Matthew 23:23.



Published in: on September 1, 2012 at 8:51 pm  Comments Off on Training Wheels  

The 7 Last Words of Jesus: Word 7

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Luke 23:46.

A prayer. Perhaps the greatest prayer anyone could ever pray. This, the last of the 7 last words of Christ, sums up all of what we term “redemption”. Redemption, justification, salvation, Christian living, whatever part of the thing we’re talking about can be summed up easily with these few words. My life, your life, ought to be no more complicated than this sentiment. Having said that I’ll end here rather than risk complicating, and so defacing, the beauty and truth of simplicity.

Published in: on September 1, 2012 at 10:52 am  Comments Off on The 7 Last Words of Jesus: Word 7