Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Zack Morris's Rules of Studying

In the final season of Saved By the Bell, Zack Morris, the perpetual under achieving High School schemer managed to score a 1500 on the old 1600 point system on his SAT test. Naturally, Zack manages to turn his score into an opportunity to spend time with cute girls who want help with their studies. Zack invites one girl home and begins to tell her how he "studies." He tells her they need to lower the lights, close her eyes and allow him to rub her shoulders. He tells her several things to do but none of them are intended to help her study. Everything he tells her is intended to help him "score."

The Apostle Paul tells us about a list of rules that don't accomplish what they are supposed to either. Paul describes a list of religious rules which he dismissed as worthless. He states, "These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self- denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires. Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honor at God’s right hand. Think about the things of heaven, not the things of earth." (Colossians 2:23-3:2, NLT)

Paul is not saying that all of the religious rules were bad. Who can argue that avoiding sexual immorality or controlling your temper are bad? Paul is arguing that the rules themselves don't accomplish anything. Most of us knew many religious rules before we came to Christ to no effect. Rules don't change our behavior. Changing the way we think changes our behavior. Paul asks us what we think about. Do we think about things that make us sympathetic to sin or do we think about things that encourage us toward righteous living? Do we allow ourselves to be influenced by culture and media or are we intentional about choosing the types of film and literature that influence us?

What kind of things do you allow your mind to dwell on? Those are the kinds of things you will do.

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