Is It Time for You to Bend the Rules?

Posted on 09/08/15 by Jay Payleitner


Against my lawyer’s advice, I’m going to challenge you to do something your mommy and daddy told you never to do. Something like…oh, I dunno…running with scissors.

Sound too daring for you? That’s not surprising. 

Most of us have been told since we were four years old not to run with scissors. We’ve also been told swallowing watermelon seeds is death-defying. If you cross your eyes, they’ll stay that way. And never, ever go swimming until 17 hours after you eat.

Every day we seem to have more rules and more laws. Some seem arbitrary. Some seem like overkill. Some feel as if they are just begging to be broken. Their only purpose seems to be to put roadblocks in the way of fully experiencing God’s creation. Don’t climb too high. Don’t talk to strangers. Don’t put that bug in your mouth.

But you know what? Mountains need to be climbed. Strangers need friends. In many cultures, bugs are a healthy snack.

Hey, acting childlike is a good thing, right? Jesus clearly said, "Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 18:3). Bible scholars debate exactly what Jesus meant. But I interpret that verse to mean we’re supposed to be curious, eager, trusting, playful, and filled with joy.  

God also knows kids make mistakes. They push the limits of right and wrong. Proverbs 22:15 confirms, “Folly is bound up in the heart of a child.”  

All this brings me to conclude that God wants his children—that’s you and me—to be fun to hang with, maybe even a little mischievous.  

Now, if you already race around with scissors, knock over outhouses, tear tags off mattresses, text in movie theaters, and too often bend the rules you meet, then clean up your act, for crying out loud. But if you live in constant fear of disappointing God and tarnishing your reputation, then I’ve got news for you. Your reputation needs some scuff marks. You’re imperfect anyway, so you might as well act like it. 

If God wrote your bucket list, I believe he would tell you to be unshackled. To live in the light of joy. Absolutely, obey all of God’s rules. But feel free to bend all the others.  

So whatever your age, I recommend you call up some slightly rowdy friends and plan a day of adventurous, good-natured mischief. You may want to consider cow tipping, loosening the tops of saltshakers at your favorite coffee shop, talking loudly in the library, calling the zoo and asking to speak to Mr. Lyon, or tying a hundred helium balloons to a lawn chair and cruising the neighborhood treetops.

Just to clarify, the goal is to reflect God’s glory in your life. To express joy in daily interactions with friends and family. You want a nonbeliever to look at you and say, “I want more of what they have.”


Discover 51 other bucket list ideas you don't want to miss in What If God Wrote Your Bucket List?

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