My first year of law school, I had a contracts professor who was the most intimidating professor we “One-Ls” faced that initiation year. He was a master at what is called the Socratic Method and would work a given subject and a person’s learning of it masterfully by asking one question on top of the other.
The questions he chose surgically peeled back your answer to examine the reason and logic that was used to reach the answer you offered. Through his cross-examination, you would doubt things you swore to be true just minutes before. That was the point: Know the “why” of the conclusions to develop your thinking in order to best advocate the position you represent.
This professor would get most frustrated with students who didn’t want to delve as deeply as he was leading them. He would rant when it appeared a student was attempting to skip the logical support to get to what they concluded was the rule of law. The rant was typically something like, “You first-year law students are all the same, ‘The rule; just give me the rule.’ It’s all you think about!”
He was right, but not just about novice law students. We all want rules to follow. We want to know where the boundaries are so we can stay between the lines. If we know what to do, we’ll do it and then we will be accepted or approved of based on our following the rules. The rules and boundaries make it easier to gauge our performance.
Performance is effort under the law. A life of grace liberates us to purpose. Performance is reverse engineering our behavior to look like the thing we want to be. Grace allows us to simply be it. The Father desires children walking in purpose to establish His Kingdom, not servants performing for the sake of appearance or approval. There’s no freedom in pretending or striving to “be”; freedom is realized in the flow of authentic life that happens when we agree with our identity and operate from it.
– From “Transforming the Prodigal Soul” available on Amazon at: https://scottprickett.com/scotts-book/