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Freedom means you need structure (but not too much)
It’s good to have boundaries, but we shouldn’t let those boundaries become what we are trusting for our safety.
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law. (Galatians 5:1)
When I was 18, I chose to go to a very strict Christian college. I say it was very strict; it was absurdly strict. I have Amish friends who were shocked I was choosing to attend this college because it was too strict for them. (No, I’m not exaggerating.)
But I did choose to go there, for many reasons. One of the big reasons was the structure. I’m a bit of a daydreamer. I like to frolic. My brain tends to do somersaults when it gets bored, and I knew I needed some kind of accountability to keep me on track. And I didn’t think I’d find that in a state college.
You see, I believe that there is a certain freedom in structure. Structure allows you to be spontaneous because you know where all your resources are. It allows you to be a good steward of the resources God has given you.
But the double-edged sword of structure is legalism. Structure is great. It’s a wonderful resource. But many times we don’t keep it as a tool. We turn it into an idol. Structure can become our safety blanket rather than Jesus.
It’s very easy for Christians to accept religious structure in their lives because we have so much freedom. It’s good to have boundaries, but we shouldn’t let those boundaries become what we are trusting for our safety. God works through routine and structure, yes. But don’t overlook the fact that God works through spontaneity too.
God does what He wants, how He wants, when He wants. And He has given us a relationship with Him that offers freedom within the boundaries He has established so that when He moves, we can move with Him.
So set your boundaries. Make your structures. Build your plans. Establish your routines. Do what you need to do in your life to be able to sustain a healthy relationship with Jesus and with others. But don’t bind yourself to it. Don’t make your routine your god.
Jesus set you free. Choose to stay that way.
Questions for Reflection
Why do you think it’s easy for Christians to fall into legalistic thinking?
What are the dangers of legalism in your opinion?
How are some ways you can learn to balance the important routines in your life with your freedom in Christ?
Weekly Memory Verse