Devotions based on James Smith’s book, The Good and Beautiful Community

As we follow the Lord we need to avoid making rules and laws and trust the leading of the Spirit.  There can be a tendency to turn our individual, Spirit-led practices into corporate laws. Because we may be led to live in a poor area to help the ones living there, doesn’t mean that no Christian should own a house over $200,000. The kingdom of God is not about rules, but about the goodness, confidence, and laughter we discover when we let the Holy Spirit lead us. We need to come to our own conclusions on such matters, and avoid turning them into laws that all others must obey, or judging those who do not do as you do. William Penn grew up in the upper class and had the best education available. At age 23 he became a Quaker and it was common in his day to wear a sword, which was not to harm anyone but a sign that the wearer belonged to the upper class. Penn struggled with whether he should wear the sword for it was a symbol of war and a symbol of class distinction, two things Quakers are against. When he asked Fox, his mentor, he was told, “Wear it as long as you can.”…meaning that in time he would be led to make the right decision. William gave up the sword but not right away. As we are changed inwardly, so do things in our lives, but not overnight. So let us avoid legalism and listen to what the Spirit tells us, not our neighbor!