Without rules, there is no structure; with too many rules, there is no freedom. Would you ever try to paint a sparrow and sell it as a parakeet? If not, then you’re safe. But if the thought has ever crossed your mind, then you’d better think twice before following through on it. This practice is illegal in Harper Woods, Michigan.

In Alaska, it is illegal to wake a sleeping bear for the purpose of taking a picture (but it’s perfectly legal to shoot the bear with a gun). In Juneau, Alaska, it is illegal to bring your pet flamingo into a barber shop. Another Alaskan law makes it illegal to throw a live moose from a moving airplane.

We have our share of strange laws here in Illinois as well. Chicago prohibits a person from eating in a place that is on fire. Another law makes it illegal to fish while sitting on a giraffe’s neck.

Vermont has to have one of the strangest laws I’ve ever heard. Here it is illegal to whistle underwater.

We would call these laws strange because they don’t really serve any purpose. On the other hand, we all believe traffic laws are good and helpful. What’s the difference? We appreciate laws which protect us because we feel safe within the boundaries. We resist laws that limit our freedom because we like to be able to make our own choices.

We have to be careful about making too many rules for others. Otherwise, we will take away their freedom and put them in bondage. This principle holds true for the laws which govern a country, church, business, or family. Since we have been set free from the burden of our sins, we should seek to create an environment where others are free to grow within Biblical boundaries.

Are you a good lawmaker? Are the rules and standards you set for others Biblical, or are they based on your personal convictions? Try to go no further in your rules than the Word of God allows. Live and lead in a way which helps others experience true freedom in Christ.


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Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder