As I have gotten older I have become more aware of rules that I’m following. Rules that I never wrote. Rules that have not come from logical places.
Over and over I have had to confront myself with one question: “What made you believe _____?”
Take reading, for example. This year I realized I was following a rule that I never made for myself: “Reading only counts if it is a physical copy of a book.”
What made me believe that a book didn’t count if it was in digital form? In audio form? I don’t know, but it was a rule that was keeping me from reading.
In 2018, I read 20 books. After ridding myself of that rule, I’ve almost finished that many books in the first four months of 2019.
What gave you your silly, hindering rule about how something should be?
One rule I think a lot of people unconsciously hold is that exercise only counts if you’re slightly miserable. You run even if you hate it because it’s good for you, and it’s even better for you if you feel like you’re dying the whole time.
Who told you a workout was only good if it made you a little miserable? What made us think that exercise we actually LIKE isn’t sufficient?
I won’t even try to discuss the unwritten rules we follow when it comes to Christ. What makes us adhere to things that Scripture has never placed on our shoulders? In matters of the soul, unwritten rules are not just hindering – they’re dangerous.
What makes us believe a hobby isn’t worth it unless you can turn it into a business or side gig?
What tells us that the things we love are a waste of time unless they serve a greater purpose?
What encourages us to give up at things we will never be the best at?
What tells us that goals aren’t worth it unless attaining them feels like the greatest exercise in discipline we have ever faced?
We all are governed by unwritten rules. It’s time to root them out and dispose of them. Let’s not be hindered by restrictions that shouldn’t exist in the first place.