Christian Counseling: From Blankie to Rules to Jesus

  first, rules next?    

All of us need a strong sense of security in order to function well and peaceably in life. A blankie provides an infant or young child with a transitional object that doesn't go away like mom or dad for the night. It can be comforting to know some things in life don't change, but dependably remain the same. We can hold them and lean on them and the familiarity of what they are and represent to us, especially in troubled times. 

Yet, if parents fail to give a child a sense of security, he or she can learn to become overly dependent on objects at the expense of relying on people and God. These children may want to take their blankie to school with them, but they also don't want to be the object of laughter. In tears and fears they leave them behind, but they earnestly seek a replacement. What they transfer their need for security to can be a perfectionistic, "Follow the rules." 

Generally, following the rules is expected and right (most of the time), but when a child, especially an adult, does not exercise discernment in the matter and rules become a way of life then following becomes a rigid ritual. To say it another way, it becomes legalism. Having and keeping the laws give these people a sense of new found security. Following the rules or not allows for testing and measuring one's okayness, goodness and righteousness. If it goes well, then self-esteem and self-image can be enhanced. This can fairly easily culminate in expecting and even demanding others follow their set of rules. Unfortunately, we all have met kibitzers who by way of a critical, rejecting spirit impose on others a bottomless pit of unasked for advice on right and wrong.

What some fail to achieve during developmental years is giving up the blankie in favor of security that comes by way of relationships with trustworthy people and God. God who wants to covers us with His eternal blanket of love and promises. Promises of a future that are ours and held secure for all time. So, trust not in what rules can do for you, but in the security of the finished work of Jesus. He is our only true and dependable security.   


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