Recently, the show NCIS aired their 200th episode which featured Gibbs looking back over his life and the decisions that influenced how he reached the moment of the flashbacks. Along with my joy the episode brought back the Mike Franks character that was a HUGE mistake for NCIS to kill off, it gave me a chance to really think about the character of Leroy Jethro Gibbs.
If you don’t watch NCIS, Gibbs has a code that guides his life. They’re affectionately known as “the Rules.” Apparently they started when Gibbs met his first wife Shannon because she had a code for her life.
The rules get trickled out over the course of the series. They include things like:
Rule #9: Never go anywhere without a knife.
Rule #16: If someone thinks they have the upper hand, break it.
Rule #40: If it seems someone is out to get you, they are.
Rule #39: There is no such thing as coincidence.
Gibbs has violated those rules a few times but he usually jumps right back on the side of the rules. He’s said they’ve helped me get through the most difficult situations in his life.
Ironically, I believe in Rule #39 although probably not for the same reason as Gibbs. I think God has a plan for everything and that means nothing is coincidence! If you read the full known list of Gibbs’ rules, you probably would find many that you live by in your life.
In the recent debate of “Jesus vs. Religion” that’s been going around the internet due to one man’s video upload, I’ve been thinking about the “rules” of “religion” that so many people want to discard in the pursuit of Jesus.
But just like Gibbs, if we’re followers of Christ, we have rules.
The Bible gives us rules even if we don’t want to use that term. The rules tell us what is sin and that we’re to avoid it. The problem is that especially in America, we don’t like to follow rules we don’t like. Sometimes the things the Bible tells us not to do are things that in our flesh we would love to do.
But we can’t ignore them just because we don’t like them. We gave our lives to Christ. We have to accept His rules.
What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? (Romans 6:1-2 ESV)
The question becomes whether or not we truly want to die to our sin or if we love it more than we love being obedient to God?