Hello, God. Welcome to My Classroom


Are You a Rule Follower?

Posted in A Class Act by Linden Barrick on May 21, 2012

Rules rule. There are grammar rules, household rules, classroom rules, pool rules, gym rules, office rules, school rules, rules of engagement, rules of attraction, and so on.

My classroom rules are very straightforward:

  1. Show respect…for yourself, for other people, and for the school. This rule covers a lot. If you follow it, everything else will fall into place.
  2. Come prepared. It shows you respect yourself enough to care about your education.
  3. I promise I won’t dig through your locker or backpack so please stay out of my desk and cabinets.
  4. “I can’t” is not allowed. I won’t present anything in this class you’re unable to accomplish. It might take some hard work, but you CAN do it with some effort.

The students know my expectations from day one and usually meet them. Of course, there are exceptions to that rule. Some people just aren’t rule followers. They push the limits, test my patience, and demand their “rights” (which sometimes can be humorous coming from a young teen).

I consider myself a rule follower, but some people might call me a wimp. In the “ask permission or ask forgiveness” debate, I’m usually on the side of asking permission. I don’t have the streak of rebellion that allows me to break the boundaries.

But am I really a rule follower? If I’m honest, I have to admit my pride is what makes me a situational rule follower. That annoying trait makes me worry about what other people think, and that prompts me to do the right thing. But it’s not the best reason to be obedient.

For example, I don’t go 55 mph when it’s posted. I usually set CeeCee (cruise control…she’s my best friend when driving) a little faster. No one judges me, so I don’t obey. But a rule where someone might see my disobedience? I’d be embarrassed if my cell phone rang in a hospital where signs read Please Turn Off Cell Phones. Or if it rang in church? That could certainly start some gossip. But would it really matter? Could it be excused? Of course, but my pride makes me fear being judged.

Instead of worrying what other people think, I should be concerned about God. Do I follow His rules? Nope, not all the time. Does He judge me? The Bible says we will all be judged, so I better shift my focus. And if I succeed in following His rules, I can be honored when someone calls me a wimp for doing so.

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4 Responses to 'Are You a Rule Follower?'

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  1. Marji Laine said,

    Well, aside from the speeding thing, I am a rule follower. And a permission-asker. If there was enough of a problem for someone to make the rule, then I want to follow it.

    I don’t consider myself a wimp, though. I’ve just been on the other side of rules. Being in a director position for several organizations, I often get to deal with the consequences of folks who push the boundaries or break the rules entirely. Audacious.

    I guess I just don’t want to live like I’m the only one that matters.


    • LOVE your comment about living like you’re the only one who matters. It describes so many people who choose to ignore the rules. Thanks for that addition!


  2. Great reminder to look deeper into our sinful hearts. So often people are ready to judge those who, in essence, are more “honest” about breaking rules, when they, themselves break them when no one’s looking.


    • That certainly speaks to integrity. A person of strong integrity doesn’t care if others are looking. Pride isn’t an issue, only doing right or wrong.


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