By nature, I am rebellious. When I was in college & part of student government, in my beliefs on national governments, my beliefs on social issues, in my past experiences with student journalism, in my discussions…it just seems to happen. I rarely have to try. I just state my opinion and there it is, a rebellious streak.
Truthfully I don’t think it’s a bad thing. Is it bad to question the actions and motives of government, be it national or just the administration on a college level? Is it bad to give my honest opinion when asked for it? Is it wrong to write or state the truth?
No, I don’t think so. Not if I’m doing it with respect or willingness to listen to what the opposite side has to say. Really, I see it more as a desire for justice. That is the kind of rebellion I personally encourage; rebellion not for its own sake or without cause, but rebellion that stands up for justice wherever injustice is found.
I’d go so far as saying my rebellion is an asset – but only for one reason. See, I’ve been corrected and disciplined many times by loving parents, in ways I despised when I was younger and hated punishment even in love. Those times led to the one thing, led to those key moments, when rebellion became an asset. That is: the times I’ve been broken by choice.
Way back (OK, it was just a year & a half ago, but it feels longer.) in May 2011 Joyce gave me news of my acceptance to OMS and my assignment to the Philippines. She kindly suggested I put aside my desire for Europe and focus on where God seemed to be leading me. In my head I knew she was right. In my heart I instantly wanted to rebel. “I can think whatever I want!” was my mental mantra. But in that instant God simultaneously told my heart, “If you rebel now, it’s going to be so hard later.” He didn’t force me. He didn’t hurt me. He loved me by speaking the truth. I made a conscious decision, also in that split second, to swallow my own rebellion and say, “OK.”
In that moment, I became stronger.
In February 2012 the moment came that I had to, for a time, give up my assignment to Ireland. Then I stood on the edge of a knife. Satan was there, tempting me with how satisfying it would feel to wallow for a moment in anger toward God. It sounded so good. Just a moment, then I could turn back to God. I knew I had to fall off the knife to one side or the other. By God’s grace (only through His grace) I made a conscious decision to choose Him, praising His name until Satan had to leave. God never coerced me into love. He never tricked me into giving up my rebellion. Offering myself in obedience to the one true, Living God is the only thing that has made my rebellious heart an asset. It is the only way my rebellious streak has become a seeker and lover of justice, and not of myself.
Does it seem hard? I won’t lie to you. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done – to allow myself to be broken by love and grace. Does the commitment seem like a lot of trouble? It is. It’s too much. There is far too much joy for me to handle. I CANNOT CONTAIN IT!
My dear brother, my sister:
YOU HAVE BEEN LIED TO BUT I WANT YOU TO KNOW THE TRUTH.
In the past you have been told that obedience puts a bad taste in your mouth. You’ve been told that the only path you need to follow is where your heart tells you to go. In the past, liars have taught you that love is about freedom and not commitment.
But beloved, hear the truth:
The JOY that comes with obedience to God HEALS MORE HURTS THAN YOU COULD EVER COUNT.
The fiery, passionate LOVE that comes with a true commitment to follow Him regardless of everything else IS THE GREATEST ADVENTURE THAT HAS EVER BEEN OR WILL EVER BE!
The kindness and grace of Jesus Christ is the most beautiful thing you will ever see, hear, or feel.
I may be young, but I have known of suffering. And I’m glad, because now I can speak to you not as naive, but as healed.
Now I’m rebellious for Him. My rebel’s heart is in His hands,
and this life is better than anything I could have imagined!