Abiding: By the Rules, or In Christ

Either a person tries to improve his lot in life by what he does, or he will rest in Jesus Christ

Seeking to create a better future, every person will live in one of those two ways. Either we try to abide by the rules (and force others to abide by the rules). Or, a person will abide in Jesus Christ. In biblical terms, each person seeks to live by law or by grace.

 

English speakers and writers use the word “abide” and its kin far less than in past generations. Incidentally, the most common uses of this word provide a striking contrast in how we live. Remarkably enough, the word means “live.”

Yes, we may use the word occasionally in less common ways. Nostalgically and poetically we employ it when referring to a home as an abode or when it comes in handy for rhyming. It is also used with emphasis when we declare that we will not abide a certain behavior or decision. But these uses have dropped significantly over the last century.

The two most common uses of this somewhat antiquated word in our day present a striking contrast:

  1. We use the word to call people to abide by the rules. Similarly, consumers may be required to check a box on contract stating that they will abide by terms and conditions.
  2. Christians are called to abide in Jesus Christ. Because the concept is so prominent in the Bible, it remains common in our culture.

Seeking to create a better future, every person will live in one of those two ways. Either we try to abide by the rules (and force others to abide by the rules). Or, a person will abide in Jesus Christ. In biblical terms, each person seeks to live by law or by grace. Either a person tries to improve his lot in life by what he does, or he will rest in Jesus Christ.

Abide by the rules, or abide in Christ. What will it be for you?

Trying to keep the rules of other people or live up to their expectations will crush a person. How much harder to keep God’s law? Impossible! When abiding by rules becomes our guiding principle, we end up, at best, with legions of laws…and very cold hearts.

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