I claim to be a rule follower. I think it is important to follow rules. A few weeks ago, the pastor of my church asked how many agreed that "rules were made to be broken." Surprisingly, it seemed half the congregation were in agreement with that. (though I think it was a bit of a trick question; it sounded like that was our pastor's assessment and I do think that people naturally want to side with the Pastor..... does he really believe that? I don't know)
I have read Tim Keller's The Prodigal God and I identify with the elder brother character. I tend to drift towards legalism and I like things to be spelled out, with little gray area. I like absolutes and I don't think things are relative. Right is right and wrong is wrong, regardless of the situation.
As I was contemplating about my propensity to follow the rules, I realized how often I break them myself! I don't like to copy music but the other day when I couldn't find a CD I wanted from iTunes or Amazon (it was an old CD) I borrowed it from a friend and copied it. I sometimes ride my bike with headphones on, listening to my iPod. It is not a secret that I tend to speed while on 280. (that stretch of freeway is impossible to go the speed limit on) I don't always stop at stop signs while on my bike, and sometimes even stoplights if my bike doesn't trip the sensor.
This is only a small sampling of the myriad of rules and laws I don't always obey. Certain ones, like speeding on 280, I try not to. Other things, I know full well I'm being disobedient and not even trying to change it. I pretty much feel I can decide which rules are "important" or makes sense and which rules really won't hurt anyone or seem rather wacky.
I guess everyone does that, too. Only the rules they might think seem "wacky" and ones that don't matter if they aren't enforced, are rules that I find important. It bothers me when I'm at the Under 15 item checkout line and the person in front of me has 30 items instead of 15. I find that important to follow. Likewise, the carpool lane. I could go on and on about the little things I obey and expect others to obey and when they don't...... It bugs me.
But like I said...... I'm sure there are the rules I disobey that others think are "important."
So, as much as I believe in following the rules and absolutes, I guess I'm not so absolute.