What are design laws?
Design laws are principles that God, our Creator, wove into the very fabric of reality. God created – and “it was good.” He designed everything to operate according to laws promoting healing, growth, fulfillment and peace. God is love, and nature is a beautiful reflection of his extravagance. God is a Giver, and when nature operates according to God’s design, it flourishes through giving. The water cycle is a good example. The ocean “gives” water through evaporation producing clouds, and the clouds give water that create rivers, which again pour water into the ocean. On the other hand, viruses is a biological form of selfishness. It doesn’t give anything and only takes for itself. White blood cells, on the other hand, operate on the principle of love by sacrificing themselves in order to save us.
When people act in selfish ways and become demanding takers, they will eventually tear down relationships. When we prefer one another in love, relationships grow and blossom. This is how God designed things to work!
Design laws are part of a universal reality, just like the law of gravity. Whether I believe in the law of gravity or not, it will work for me! Defying design laws will eventually result in destructive consequences. God’s design laws have predictable results: when we conform to them and respect them, they lead to life and success; when we defy them, we tear our world down with our own hands. As a reflection of God’s nature, design laws reveal God’s incredibly loving intention for us. As we gain understanding of these principles, embrace them and learn to yield to them, our lives will prosper.
In part 1 we discussed the Law of Love and the Law of Liberty. Here are two more:
The Law of Worship
We are created to worship. Everyone will worship something. One writer says it this way: “A person’s deity is that which actually dominates that person’s life, giving it unity, direction, and inspiration, whether the person realizes it or not” (Creel, 1977). What do you worship? What gives your life its main direction and inspiration? What really makes us tick? Whatever we worship will form and shape our lives. Our minds will adapt themselves to the things we idealize. What we keep admiring we become like. This is exactly what Paul says in 2 Cor.3:18 – “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed in the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”
Why does God ask us to worship Him? He does so because He is the only one we can worship that will not cause our mind and character to degenerate. As humans, we are the highest created beings on our planet. There is nothing here in this world that is worthy of our worship, and giving our affection and admiration to anything else but God will lower our existence to its own level. When people worship cruel and harsh gods, they create oppressive systems. We see this exemplified in cults, or in major religions. One sect of Hinduism worships the rat. Their temples are infested with rats, and people consider it an honor to be bitten by a rat. They want to be reincarnated as a rat. Here are human beings created in God’s image to have authority in the earth, and now their highest goal is to become a rat!
Neuro-scientifically, we become like what we admire or worship. Whatever we idealize, whether it be a person, God, idea, or idol, we are changed into what we give our attention and affection to. The brain will actually rewire itself according to our thoughts and what we give our attention to. Our choices as well as our behavior, what we worship and admire, have profound effect on the development of our neural pathways and networks. This eventually changes our character. Here is a simple illustration: As a Norwegian, English was a second language for me. It took several years in school to get a good grasp on the English language. Then, as a 23 year old, I came to the United States. It took me a year or two to continue learning all the nuances in the language, colloquialisms, humor etc. I have lived in the United States for many years now, and my “English” neural networks have grown to where I actually struggle a little when I visit Norway and switch to speaking Norwegian. The brain constantly changes to adapt. We actually change the hardwiring in our brains through what we think about. This works both negatively and positively. The choice of whom or what we worship greatly influences the development of our mental faculties. Healthy worship creates noble and strong reasoning faculties, while unhealthy forms of worship shrinks and weakens them.
As human beings, we can choose to yield to God’s truth, which is reality, or we can choose to set up something else as our god. One way or another, we will worship something, and thereby be conformed into the image of the object we worship. When you as a believer set your heart on God’s truth, over time your neural circuitry will change, and old neural networks that correspond to negative behavior will degrade, while neural networks that respond to the truth will develop and grow.
The Law of Responsibility
God made us to think for ourselves, reason, evaluate, plan, and make choices. This is part of the Law of Liberty. When we seek to control others are not operating within God’s laws of love and liberty. Sometimes people’s attempts to control others are subtle. Here is a scenario: You can’t stand the anxiety you feel when your spouse gets into one of their moods, so you do whatever you can to please them to keep them happy. You may even agree to do something that you really don’t want to do. So instead of setting proper boundaries with your spouse and take responsibility for your own anxiety, you allow boundaries to be crossed in your own life and you are actually attempting to control your spouse. This behavior never yields positive results! Having healthy boundaries means that we take responsibility for our own feelings as well as set proper boundaries with other people. It is not your job to make other people happy at all cost in order to feel less anxious in the moment. You will have to do that one again and again…… and again. This will only increase anxiety, create resentment on both sides, while nothing is really dealt with and healed. Seek help from a good counselor, do what you need to do to manage your anxiety, and learn how to have proper boundaries with others.
Do you have a tendency to be dependent? Can you make your own decisions? Can you have an opinion when someone asks you? Are you aware of what your values and priorities are? Do you have a sense of autonomy if you are married or in a romantic relationship?
You may have grown up with parents who seemed to make all the choices for you, even when you were old enough to make your own. This may have sent the message: “you cannot trust yourself” or “you are not capable.” If this was the case, you may find yourself always looking to others for decision making in your behalf. It is time to break out and courageously start the journey of discovering your own priorities, values and preferences. Some who grew up as “Mom’s golden boy” or “Daddy’s little princess” were made to believe that they could do no wrong, so they end up becoming annoyingly self-centered. Lacking self-awareness, they tend to expect special treatment and blame others for everything that goes wrong in their lives.
Taking responsibility for your life is one of the most empowering things you can do. It puts the power back where it should be: in your hands! Regardless of your background and past failures, you can take one step at a time towards a better future. Choose to believe that you can get that degree, start over in a new, healthier relationship, trust God to work in you to move forward. He will, because he always operates within his own wisdom.
Cecilie Croissant is licensed professional counselor and a certified EMDR therapist in private practice in Owasso, Oklahoma. She is speaker in conferences around the world and was awarded an honorary doctorate for her many years of teaching and music ministry in over 30 nations.