Life Loving Law -Nov 20, 2020
I write this following a news briefing reporting widespread verbal and physical assaults on shop keepers trying to enforce lockdown laws in their stores. Laws can seem restrictive when they inhibit personal desire.
Law can feel like something keeping us from doing and getting what we want. We often focus on personal restriction and forget the benefit of living under laws constructed for the benefit of all.
Those shop keepers were acting on behalf of others, and they should be supported and praised for doing so. Shop camera clips remind me that living in a lawless society would be frightening. We need to remember that living under law is a privilege.
Humanity can mess things up and make rules more complex to meet personal desires. Experts in law? I have worked for organisations that need ongoing legal expertise. I have regularly heard, “We are solution driven lawyers.”
In my experience, every lawyer might say this, very few live it. Those that do have been truly exceptional. It’s so easy to make choices for personal and business gain at the expense of others.
God’s law. Surely, we’d know how to live it! We’d not use law to justify our own preferences in His name. Would we? We’d not use them to justify adding our own layers that impose personal preferences on others or improve our personal status. Has this ever happened?
I think we could give numerous examples of self-motivated teachers of the law through history. In doing so, they miss the love, purpose, and benefit behind His Law completely.
So, what of the 10 commandments and other laws in Deuteronomy and Leviticus etc.
Jesus was clear, “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfil them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished.” (Mat 5:17-18)
So how did he fulfil them? He put our need before His own suffering; dying for our sinful actions. Jesus is the ultimate role model in putting the need of others first.
We should stick to, “The law of Christ” (ὁ νόμος τοῦ Χριστοῦ) which for me is rooted in the two greatest commandments:
Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” (Mat 22:37-40)
These simple to understand commands remain my checksum for enacting detail. “I’m a Christian living by His Spirit.” Christians might say this, do we live it? In Genesis we read that people broke the one command and their relationship with God simultaneously. Origin of sin, the natural corrupted -by people.
In creation there is order, in the movement of the planets and in nature. Our own thinking can, with His help, have the same order. Creations beauty and voice should be heard and enjoyed, not destroyed.
“The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands. Day after day they pour forth speech; night after night they display knowledge. There is no speech or language where their voice is not heard. Their voice goes out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world.” (Psalm 19:1-4)
The spirit of God is omnipresent. We need to be able to sense Him and know Him.
Attitude is within our control and there is power in this for self and others. Words and law from the heart of God are liberating rather than restrictive.
“The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul. The statutes of the LORD are trustworthy, making wise the simple. The precepts of the LORD are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the LORD are radiant, giving light to the eyes.” (Psalm 19:7-9)
What has this got to do with my brain injury recovery? I’ve been depressed, but I am starting to see things more positively now. I have found even human law protect me in too many ways to mention. The care shown by Police officers was exemplary to my family after my accident. Serving people by enforcing law in a world of vastly different attitudes must be an enormous challenge.
Police officers are people too and they can only do their best. I have a Headway Brain Injury Identity Card designed to help police officers more easily identify brain injury survivors and ensure that they receive an appropriate response and support. Backed by the National Police Chiefs Council this is another example of care within law.
I should endeavour to manage a few lockdown rules for the benefit of all. Empathy and understanding are great tools for promoting an attitude of care that draws upon the Love that fulfils Law. Love is a power greater than cognitive thinking, stronger that fear and the source of our hope.