Parents worldwide work extremely hard to support their families. We put in a decent days work and go home to raise our children. One of the things I have started to notice with my children is there is a difference between following an instruction, as opposed to complying with an instruction. Following an instruction insinuates even if at a subconscious level an understanding of the instruction. While merely complying with an instruction is either a direct or indirect attempt to subvert the intent of said instruction. Scrapping your uneaten dinner into the trash complies with the instruction of clearing your dinner plate before dessert, but it clearly misses why the instruction was given.
A great biblical example of complying with an instruction would be the fellow asking Jesus “well who is my neighbor?” We are never given the name of this individual but he is clearly looking for the parameters of this commandment so as to go around it. Are we talking next door? Are we talking anyone within a 20 mile radius? Even if he was innocently looking for clarification the question itself shows a misunderstanding of the intent behind the commandment to love thy neighbor as thyself.
Sometimes knowing why we do or don’t do something can make a huge difference. Understanding why we have speed limits doesn’t mean we can speed recklessly when we deem it’s safe, but understanding high speed collisions makes it easier to follow the posted speed limit. Jesus said “Do not think I have come to abolish the law or the prophets, I have not come to abolish but to fulfill.” Why? I think there is a huge difference in complying with God and following. The people Jesus was speaking to had lived to comply with the law while completely missing the why or the intent of God’s law.As the ones our children look to for answers it is important that we do our best to always have an answer, if we’re honest sometimes we don’t have a straight answer for them. We may find ourselves saying because I said so. I don’t know why just do what I ask. We say these things for numerous reasons, but God isn’t limited in knowledge and wisdom like we. While God doesn’t owe any of us an answer to the why He gives an instruction it doesn’t hurt to ask. Jesus never asked for any of His disciples to comply with Him, He asked for people to follow. Why? Because we will always follow what we love, and never love when we are forced to comply.