Critics often say the Bible is full of rules – thou shall not do this or that – which seek to confine and restrict our lives, but Jesus didn’t come to constrain us; he came to set us free. He said. “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full (John 10v10). The Bible is like our guidebook that gives us boundaries so we can live as God intended – not rules to restrict us in the sense of oppressing us, but rules to protect us from ourselves and from danger.
There was a nursery school situated on the corner of a busy road, with traffic constantly driving past. The school had a lovely playground, surrounded by small dwarf-wall to stop the children running into the road. However, at break times all the children would stay very close to the school building because they were frightened by the passing traffic on the other side of the low wall.
Well, one day the school brought in the builders to erect a higher steel-mesh fence and from that day on, the children played in the whole playground. You see, the children were happier and felt more secure when the fences were put up to show clear boundaries.
Same with us: If we stay within the boundaries that God has set for us and we live by His rules, then there is freedom and joy. But if we cheat or break the rules people get hurt!
The Bible gives us clear boundaries for our wellbeing, happiness and safety. When the Bible says, ‘Do not commit adultery’, it’s not because God wants to restrict and oppress us, or be a killjoy, but because God knows the pain and misery and damage that sin causes. Because He loves us and wants to protect us: He wants us to be safe and happy and enjoy life the way He intended us to.
R. Ian Seymour
R. Ian Seymour, Empowered Personal Evangelism, Weybridge: New Wine Press (2014), p.117