Getting to the Bottom of the Rules
Bible Reading: Romans 13:8-10—Love does no wrong to anyone, so love satisfies all of God’s requirements. Romans 13:10
You’re probably glad not to be in the thick of these sticky situations:
- Eddie tells you he’s going to flunk fifth grade if he doesn’t start doing better on his tests. He isn’t kidding. Do you make him eat your dust as you and all your friends graduate into sixth grade-or do you help him cheat?
- Mona has told you that her dad lost his job and her family is out of money. You’re standing in the snack aisle at a grocery store and she says she’s starving. She really looks hungry. Do you help her swipe something to eat?
Talk about it: How do you tell right from wrong when you have a tough choice to make?
God began showing us right and wrong with the Ten Commandments. And he packed the Bible full of his commands-not just “dos and don’ts” he made up to be mean, but commands he created to help us live well.
If you want to know whether an attitude or action is right, you can use these three guides.
- Precept. A precept is a specific rule. In the Bible God provides some totally clear precepts—or commands. For example, the Bible says, “Don’t lie to each other” (Colossians 3:9). Precepts point to bigger principles.
- Principle. A principle is the “why” behind a precept. The Bible tells us not to lie, and the principle behind that is that God wants us to be honest. So we know that not only is it wrong to lie, it’s also wrong to cheat on a test, because that’s not honest.
- Person. There’s one last test when you want to know if something is right: Compare it to the person of God. How does your choice stack up against what you know about God’s caring, loving character? For example, we know that God never lies-so we know that lying is wrong.
Besides helping us know right from wrong through his precepts, his principles, and his person, God also puts mature Christians in our life—parents, pastors, neigh-bors-to help us gain the wisdom that comes from walking with God for a long time.
TALK: Think about all that God teaches you through his precepts, his principles, and his person. Do you want to honor God by obeying him?
PRAY: God, we want to follow your best for our life. Help us discover what is good and hang tight to it!
ACT: Put a sticky situation of your own to the test. What do precepts, principles, and God’s person tell you to do?