About Absolutes

About Absolutes

Why there should be broad acceptance of the narrow way.

by Trey Graham

Have you ever observed a “Right Turn Mostly” sign? Of course not. When the traffic safety department determines that “Right Turn Only” is best for public safety, no one decries their decision as exclusive or elitist. No one writes letters to their congressman demanding his freedom to turn left at the intersection.

When a person suffers a heart attack and the doctor prescribes a rigid diet, do we accuse the doctor of being rude and insensitive? Or do we thank the physician for caring so much about the health and well-being of the patient and then recommend this conscientious caregiver to our family and friends?

If a math instructor gives a student a failing grade because he indicates on the exam that 2 + 2 = 5, we applaud the teacher for upholding the standards and teaching the student how to add properly. After all, people need to know how to add and subtract, pay their bills, and calculate their expenses.

Why, then, do we complain when the Creator of the universe sets a standard for our protection? Why do we rebel against the rules that God establishes?

Why do we expect our Lord to grant complete freedom of choice, allowing us to determine the best way to live?


Many people in our world refuse to give their lives to Christ because they feel that a God-honoring life is too restrictive. We expect God to let us sleep with whomever we want, whenever we want. We expect God to keep His promises to us while we break our promises to other people. We demand that other people deal with us honestly and fairly, while we cut corners and “skim a little off the top.” We recommend that people live together before marriage, to “try it out,” while the Bible commands that we keep the marriage bed undefiled.

I will admit that the Bible has absolute standards that seem harsh, that seem to be inflexible according to the moral standards of the world. But I also know three important truths about the standards that God expects His children to abide by on earth.

Three truths

First, the people who say that God restricts and therefore ruins their lives have never before lived the committed, Christlike life. They are simply predicting what their reaction would be if they became faithful believers.

Second, the life that honors Jesus, with rules and restrictions and all, is more fulfilling and more rewarding than the life that seeks only pleasure and freedom.

Third, and most important, God is God. You are not. Neither am I. God is the sovereign Creator and Lord. Therefore, He is more than qualified to direct my paths and establish guidelines for my life. After all, didn’t He create this world and all the people in it?

Higher ways

Other fields and other experts have rules, and they are accepted as standard practice. God has rules and we call Him a “kill-joy.” Physicians establish strict dietary habits for their patients, and we praise their medical knowledge. God the Father prescribes strict moral habits for His people, and we condemn Him as outdated and prudish.

I don’t understand why people, including me, rebel against spiritual authority. I only know that I am a sinner who naturally does not want to serve and obey God. Only by faith in Christ, only by the power of the Holy Spirit, only by His grace, am I able to understand and obey the rules of God. We must remember God’s rules are different and that He knows more and sees more than we do. The heavenly Father instructs His children to obey His standards because “as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55:9).

I sure don’t abide by all of God laws, but I want to. More than that, I have learned that He is the one who establishes the rules; my role is simply to obey them. Listen to your doctor, learn from your teacher; but give your heart to Jesus the Savior, and live life His way.