The Supreme Court may broaden the definition of marriage and the FCC might drop its ban on nudity. By contrast, the Bible seems to be full of limits. So how can it claim that “the truth shall set you free?”
“The God of the Bible is a Cosmic Killjoy, speaking ‘Thou shalt not’ over every human pleasure. He’s like a Grumpy Old Man looking down from on high saying: ‘Behold, they enjoyeth themselves…Never!’”
One U2 song puts it this way: “She’s a promise/in the year of election…Desire!” We’ve all learned the hard way how desire can make promises it can’t keep. Yet, when a doctrine of faith draws a line, we accuse God of spoiling the fun. Isn’t it true that some of our wants compete with our needs?
“It would seem that Our Lord finds our desires not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures…like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.” – C.S. Lewis
A powerful experiment shows how boundaries and limits actually promote greater freedom. Across the country social scientists began to study the habits of children at recess, giving them many toys and plenty of room. In each school, students tended to remain in close proximity to the buildings, ignoring the vast space beyond them. Then they built fences far beyond the average distance of play; and in every case, these same groups of students spread out into the grounds. The boundaries limited their potential to roam, but they brought freedom to thrive and play.
Or, consider a friend of mine is training for his second Iron Man. I’ve heard him say, “I run to eat.” He finds greater culinary freedom when he puts on constraints of a strict exercise regimen.
Ever been met with a limitation and found something far more robust and fulfilling? That kind of experience can make you read Psalm 37:4 in a different light.