Today’s Scripture: This only would I learn of you, Received ye the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are ye so foolish? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh? Galatians 3:2–3

Once my granddaughter, Amanda, asked me a strange question, “Is it possible to be too obedient?”

I answered, “Not technically, but spiritually.”

Let me explain it with this illustration. The United Parcel Service asks each of its drivers to deliver an average of 400 packages per workday. The company gets this production out of its employees by literally micromanaging every detail of their delivery routine.

Insisting upon rigid obedience to rules may help a business succeed, but it will never help a Christian become spiritually mature. That’s because a Christian who is always looking for guidance concerning what they should and shouldn’t do will never develop a personal relationship with God. This is not to say Christians should not seek counsel on important decisions. The personal standards which govern a Christian’s life should be based upon their desire to please God, not a desire to follow a man-made set of rules. This is true spirituality.

Yes, it is possible to be too obedient — when we are overly concerned with obeying man-made rules rather than the Word of God. Give people room and time to grow. They may not hold to the same standards you do right away. They might pick up fewer packages or hold their keys differently, but that’s okay. If the Bible doesn’t speak against what they are doing, then don’t make an issue of it. Gently lead them to obey God’s Word, and they will learn to do what’s right on their own.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder