The Limitless Self?

Jan 16, 2024    Don Willeman



Hello, this is Pastor Don of Christ Redeemer Church. Welcome to The Kingdom Perspective.


In November 2020, Vogue magazine featured an interview with singer Harry Styles. What caught my attention was a statement he made: “Anytime you’re putting barriers up in your life, you’re limiting yourself.” Allow me to clarify the logic: barriers/limits/rules are all obstacles to personal fulfillment – to one’s true self. As the title on the cover put it: “Harry Styles Makes His Own Rules”.


Now, regardless of what you think of Harry Styles, the popular ethos he parrots (“Make your own rules.” “Do your own thing.”) is far from liberating. It’s devastating and a recipe for loneliness!


To the degree that you “do your own thing”, to that degree you can’t be in relationship with others. You can’t even play a game without objective rules and boundaries. The guy who makes his own rules in poker (or basketball or whatever) will soon find himself playing alone. To the degree that you demand your own way, to that degree you’ll have to do it all by yourself.


Is it any wonder that as we’ve immersed ourselves in this ethos of self-expression, the experience of loneliness has gone through the roof. Constantly re-inventing oneself makes it impossible to be known by anyone — even ourselves! Eradicating boundaries doesn’t alleviate our intuitive sense of alienation; it only increases it.


The elevation of such nonsense parading as freedom would be silly if it weren’t so sad. Removing all rules, doesn’t make life freer, it literally destroys it. Utter chaos is no substitute for liberty. There is no self without limits.


Something to think about from The Kingdom Perspective.

“Now this is the commandment—the statutes and the rules—that the Lord your God commanded me to teach you, that you may do them in the land to which you are going over, to possess it, that you may fear the Lord your God, you and your son and your son's son, by keeping all his statutes and his commandments, which I command you, all the days of your life, and that your days may be long. Hear therefore, O Israel, and be careful to do them, that it may go well with you, and that you may multiply greatly, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has promised you, in a land flowing with milk and honey.


“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.”

~ Deuteronomy 6:1-9 (ESV)