Sometimes religion can cause you to feel as if you’re surrounded by a sea of “no’s.” No unclean meats. No shopping during Sabbath hours. No sexual relations before marriage. In all of the “no’s” it can seem hard to find and focus on even a single “yes.”
While we’re told what we shouldn’t do while growing up, questioning the reason for the no’s and finding the yes’s should be explored on one’s own as we reach adulthood.
Tyler Morrison, Union enrollment coordinator, said he was able to focus more on the “yes’s” of religion by “knowing and understanding the rules on what to do.”
Understanding why God says no allows us to better understand His character as well. We see how going against what God has said has negative effects and ultimately hurts us. These hurtful outcomes prove to us we can trust God and know He only wants what’s best.
Referencing 1 John 4:19, “We love because He first loved us,” Morrison emphasized that God wants us to do what would truly make us the happiest. Following God’s example by following His rules, is what would give us a sense of fulfillment. “The don’t’s when it comes to God’s law are rooted in do,” he said.
When asked how this has helped in his life, Morrison began by explaining that “why” is the most important thing to know with anything. One needs to understand why they want to be a doctor in order for them to be a good doctor. The same principle applies to Christianity as well. “We have to know that God loves us,” he shared.
After becoming accepting and better understanding, we’re able stop seeing God’s rules as a list of no’s, but instead as guidelines on how to live life to its fullest and achieve happiness while doing so.
The story of Eve in Genesis tells how Eve gave into temptation and disobeyed the one rule God had given rather than remaining content in paradise, ultimately ending in suffering for her and her descendants. We can learn from her actions, and focus on the goodness around us.
Knowing what we should stay away from opens up endless possibilities of what we’re able to do. It's our habit of focusing on what we’re told not to do, rather than focusing on our other opportunities, that limits us from enjoying our lives.
We should choose to enjoy and share the plethora of “yes’s” available to us, and stop resenting the few “no’s.”
Amanda McCarter is a sophomore studying biomedical science.