Men of Integrity

The Downside of Religious Rules

Who Said It ... Steve McVey
Steve McVey is president of Grace Walk Ministries (, a discipleship training ministry that seeks to help Christians discover the freedom of their new life in Christ. He is the author of numerous books including Walking in the Will of God and The Grace Walk Devotional—the book from which this week's readings are adapted. He and his wife, Melanie, live in Atlanta and have four adult children and three grandchildren.

What He Said ... The Downside of Religious Rules
I've dieted many times and found one thing to be true: When I'm dieting I crave the foods I know aren't good for me. Telling myself I can't have them only causes me to want them more.

Of course, I know a strict diet isn't the recommended way to lose weight and keep it off, but like the majority of people who want to thin down, I've attempted it anyway. The many diets I've tried haven't taught me much about health and nutrition, but they sure have taught me a lot about the power of the law in our lives.

Here I speak of "the law" in the sense of religious rules. Despite what we may have believed, religious rules don't help us live a godly life-style. To the contrary, Paul wrote that sinful actions are actually strengthened by the law (1 Cor. 15:56).

The dietary parallel to this spiritual reality is to tell a man he cannot, under any circumstances, eat pizza. Then guess what food he is constantly drawn to eat. That's what law does … in any context.

Key Study Passage: Galatians 3-5

Prayer for the Week:
Heavenly Father, may I remember that I can't rid myself of sin by my own effort and that Christ died and rose again to free me from the power of sin and death.

...thanks to Christianity Today