Do You Know the Rules?
Today for the first time ever since having kids, I pulled out one of my favorite games from my younger years: Monopoly.
As my best friends could attest, I was a Monopoly fanatic. Every year at least once, typically on New Year’s Eve, we would stay up all night (or until they finally gave up) for a marathon Monopoly session. I loved buying and owning and winning money. It was the only board game that seemed to never end.
When I pulled out my husband’s Star Wars version of Monopoly for our family to play, I decided to take the time to read the instructions, since it had slightly different rules and it had been so long since I played.
As I sat there reading the instructions, I was absolutely floored!
Nowhere in the instructions did I find…
- If you buy property, pay a tax or a fine, put your money in the middle of the game board.
- If you land on Free Parking, collect all the money from the middle of the board.
- Purchase a house any time you want for any property you have.
Instead, the rules said:
- The Bank collects all the money. (My previous understanding of putting it all in the middle and then winning it from Free Space never existed.)
- You can only purchase a house for a property, if you own all the colors of that property group! (What!?! Well, that makes it more difficult!)
- The game can be played in 60-90 minutes! (You mean, it’s not supposed to take 5-8 hours to play this game?)
I literally sat there stunned. Why did I not know these rules? Why were the rules I knew about so different?
Talk about a game changer!
Processing this, I realized that I had never actually taken the time to read the rules for myself. I just wanted to play, so I readily accepted what other people told me the rules were.
I couldn’t help but realize that I had readily accepted what others had told me in other areas of my life as well.
A handful (ok, maybe two handfuls) of years ago, one of our elders led a class that came to be known in my mind as “Is it Biblical or is it Tradition?”
I loved that class for one main reason. It got me into God’s word on a new level. Instead of taking what others said and molding the Bible to fit, we tried to figure out if our traditions were actually biblical. Were they really as important as we elevated them to be, or did we turn it into something more than it should have been?
There were many heated debates in this class over the years. When the dust settled and our eyes focused on God’s word, we couldn’t help but realize some of what we had readily accepted as an absolute truth was maybe more of a protective gate to keep us from doing something truly sinful.
A Spiritual Game Changer
I will be forever thankful to that elder for taking the time to hold our hands and walk us through the Bible text. He helped us walk the traditions that we held up higher than the actual truth out of our lives.
It is considered noble to test everything someone says against the Scriptures. In Acts 17:11, Luke writes about the Bereans:
“Now the Berean Jews were of more noble character than those in Thessalonica, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”
Just thinking about this makes me giggle! I take Paul at his word, but here the Bereans test everyone against Scripture and make sure that they echo God’s truth.
So yes, let’s accept God’s word with eagerness. But let’s also remember to examine every source to make sure it tells God’s truth. Even this blog (and any other). This will keep us from faltering and putting our faith in a person rather than God. It will also help us not risk our heavenly future based on the wrong instructions of others.
Have you taken the time to examine your beliefs and traditions against Scripture? Or are you just accepting what others have told you to be true?