I have unspoken rules. For example, I have rules about public bathrooms. Whenever possible, there should be an empty stall between you and me. If there are multiple toilet paper rolls, take from the smallest roll. No conversations between stalls. Always wash your hands. When finished, wipe up any water left on the counter.
Okay, maybe I have over thought this, but I’m guessing you have unspoken rules too. Maybe they are not related to public bathrooms, but I bet they exist. Maybe you have them at home? We have one that says Dad runs the TV in the living room.
Church is a place where unspoken rules are common. Worship is filled with them. So and so sit in that pew, so you can’t sit there. Everyone stand during the songs. “Peace be with you” requires the response, “And also with you.”
The problem with the unspoken rules is they lead to assumptions that can get us into trouble. We assume others know the rules. We assume others have the same expectations around what is supposed to happen. We assume others share the same beliefs especially in the church.
16 Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17 These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ. 18 Do not let anyone who delights in false humility and the worship of angels disqualify you. Such a person also goes into great detail about what they have seen; they are puffed up with idle notions by their unspiritual mind. 19 They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow.
20 Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: 21 “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? 22 These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. (Colossians 2:16-22 NIV).
I have been thinking a lot about what I believe. What is grounded in the commands of Christ? Does it fit with “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and soul. Love your neighbor as yourself?” Is it an unspoken rule or doctrine put in place by the church to serve itself. These are heady questions, but important questions for all of us to ask ourselves. We need to know what we believe and why we believe it.
What are your unspoken rules? How is God guiding you in examining them? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.