In the Human Dilemma, we live in a state of moral uncertainty. The line between that which is admirable and that which is detestable is ambiguous and ever changing. For example: The life of the party may be only one drink away from becoming the obnoxious drunkard. The career-driven person can easily turn into the workaholic. The dabbler can become the addict. Ironically, the same culture that encourages certain behaviors is ready to attack when those same behaviors get out of hand. Tragically, the moral line is seldom defined until it is crossed. Then there is outrage over something that should have been so obvious, and the cries ring out, “How could this have happened?” and “How can we prevent this from happening again?”
In the Human Dilemma, the solution usually comes in the form of stricter laws that cost money to enforce and further limit the freedoms of everyone, even those who never even approach the line. I carry the embarrassing memory of being part of the senior trip that ended the practice of senior trips at my high school (at least for awhile). I’ll spare you the details. Suffice it to say while participating in behavior promoted by our society, we crossed several lines. This was followed by outrage, and the class behind us suffered for it. The passage of decades now allows the guilty parties to relive this moment of infamy and even snicker about it. After all, no one got hurt, and well, kids will be kids. But this silly and ancient episode has been repeated countless times and with much more serious consequences. I have come to accept this as common practice in societies that take it upon themselves to determine what is acceptable and what is not.
The Divine Solution to this part of the Human Dilemma is quite simple. St. Augustine summed it up nicely: “Love God and do as you please.” Of course, those who know God will understand the implication that those who love God (and I mean really love God) will be pleased to do only that which pleases God. They will diligently study His Word, accept all of His instructions (even those which are difficult or unpleasant), and live accordingly. They will see in Jesus Christ the ultimate example of godly living and desire to imitate Him.
I doubt there are many rules in heaven, perhaps just this one. But those enslaved by the Human Dilemma find no pleasure in it. On earth, they see it as oppressive, never realizing that they wear the shackles of a society plagued by paranoia and hypersensitivity. But to those who have found freedom in Christ and long for their heavenly home, God’s love here and now is a Beautiful Boundary.