My friend recently lost a lot of weight and gave me a box of clothes. (That doesn't sound good for me. Hmmm. Moving on...) Anyway, one of the pj pants she gave me has cutesy little sayings on the trim. One of those quotes is "Color outside the lines." When I read that, I had an "aha!" moment!
My six year old is still learning to color inside the lines. She stays inside the lines when she's coloring slowly, and quite frankly, being a bit of a perfectionist. When she finishes, she criticizes herself if even one line has been crossed over. However, if she's in a hurry, or just having fun, she gets outside the lines frequently. And when she's finished, she's quite proud of her work of art.
As Christians in America, a lot of lines have been created for us to stay inside. It's a precarious life, trying to live inside the lines. So I was thinking about Jesus. He didn't always stay inside the lines that had been set by the religious leaders (think Pharisees). He quite frequently broke across them. In fact, He drew His own line. Remember the one He drew in the sand? Oooh, isn't that freeing?!
As a teenager I went to a school that drew a lot of lines, lots of boundaries. As an adult, I went to a church where lines (traditions, personal opinions) were thrown carelessly from the pulpit and instructor stands. I spent a lot of time trying to stay inside the lines that had been set for me. I finally got so sick of trying that I wrecklessly abandoned all lines. I made a quite an ugly mess!
I've had to figure out which lines are Biblical (the guidelines set forth for us by God) and which ones are steeped in religious tradition and legalism. The fun part of figuring it out has been crossing over and breaking the ones set forth by man. God hasn't called us to live inside a neatly drawn box. He hasn't called us to live in fear. He's called us to get messy...to live in freedom...to live in truth. Think Noah. He looked like a crazy fool to society when he was building that ark. Think David. He danced naked in the street! Think Jesus. He was friends with all the social outcasts.
Try to imagine what Jesus would do and who He'd hang out with if He were walking upon Earth today! I'd bet He'd hang out with and offer love to drug addicts, alcoholics, prostitutes...and I'm quite sure He'd go to them, meet them where they are! That means He'd go inside the bars, down to the "rough" parts of town...all the places we stay away from. (Yikes! I'm stepping on my own toes!)
Break past the lines and barriers that have been set for you out of legalism. Learn to live in truth and freedom! Color outside the lines!
It was for freedom that Christ set us free; therefore keep standing firm and do not be subject again to a yoke of slavery. Galatians 5:1