Why Are There So Many ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ in Christianity

Why Are There So Many ‘Dos’ and ‘Don’ts’ in Christianity? 

Rhonda RobinsonBy Rhonda Robinson5 Minutes

“What if you die, and find out there is no heaven, Mom? Would you still be a Christian?” my teenaged son asked, rather accusingly. I knew what he was implying. That I would miss out on all the “fun” the world had to offer– for nothing in return. To him, at that point in his young life, Christianity looked like a life of don’ts.

My answer surprised him.

“Yes.” Without a doubt or hesitation I could say yes. Because in reality, following Christ is not about what you don’t do, it is about what he taught us to do.

 “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 neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments,” (Matthew 22:37-40 NIV).

Love Your God

To love your God with all your heart, soul, and mind, is an all-encompassing statement. Few of us can truly love another person in this way. Yes, we love deeply, passionately, and also selfishly. This commandment that Jesus gave us is the essence of Christianity.  To love in a way, that each one of us have a deep need for, but always seem to miss the mark somehow. And yet, in his love for us, he blankets us with forgiveness.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (1 John 4:16 NIV)

Love Your Neighbor

This command shows us that God knows who we are to the core. Our flaws and warts, and turns them for our good. He knows we can be incredibly selfish. So he turns this negative human characteristic inside out. “Love your neighbor as yourself.” When we do this, there is no need to make a list of don’ts. If you love your neighbor as yourself, you will not steal from him, kill him, or dishonor his wife. You will feed him if he is hungry, give him a blanket when he is cold, and want only for him a bright and happy future.

Human Nature

Just like my son believing that Christianity would rob him of the pleasures gleaming in the prospect of adulthood, we tend to focus at what we can’t have or do, as if it is a deprivation of our happiness.

When my children were toddlers exploring the world around them (our home) there were many rules. One of the hardest rules for my toddlers to adhere to, or understand, was why I would not allow them to play in the little pool with the lid in the bathroom. They delighted in plunging their hands into the water or using the shiny handle to make things disappear. Germs, backed up sewage, or the concept that their little heads could weight them down as they drown, if they fell in, was beyond their comprehension. And yet, it was my love for them, my understanding of their own limitations and my desire to see them grow into happy healthy human beings that compelled me place the “don’ts” in their lives.

Christ referred to God, as his Heavenly Father. Christianity, is the following of Christ and loving God the Father with all your heart, mind, and strength.

Love God.

Love others.

It is also trusting our Heavenly Father, that his dos and don’ts are put in place out of the purest love for us.

Find the Happiness Only God Can Give