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Break the convention. Keep the commandments.

It’s never been all that radical to break the commandments (i.e. to sin). Anybody can do so without much effort at all.

What is rebellious is to keep the commandments, despite the ease of breaking them. Breaking them is far too tame. If you want to be wild, novel and noteworthy — keep them. You’ll get to experience life more deeply than most and you’ll be free of the crippling vices that keep so many from reaching their true potential.

Consider a wine glass that you take on a trip around the world and back. There would be nothing noteworthy about having broken the glass along the way. But there is something special about bringing it all the way back home in one piece (even if you had to piece it back together along the way).

Be radical:

“Break the convention. Keep the commandments.” – G.K. Chesterton

Speaking of breaking conventions, we should do more of it still. For while it is never good to break commandments, it is often very good to break conventions: those human habits we develop over time that we forget can be changed at any moment. These are things like how we work, what our daily schedule looks like, how we form community, what we do for entertainment, how we spend our idle time, how the political process works, the way we solve social ills and how we form our children. Such conventions can be cultural ruts we get stuck in for so long that we lose the ability to even imagine how things might be different (and hopefully better).

These conventions are what need breaking every now and again. Not only for the sake of human flourishing, but to stoke the fire inside of us. To stir us on to participate in that courageous, creative process along side the Creator. It’s the beginning of figuring out how we can work differently, live more intentionally and love more radically.

Let’s break the conventions and conform them to the commandments — not the other way around.

Published in Popular Essays