A rebel is defined as someone who rises against authority, or regulation. For example, as a child, I quite frequently rebelled against the law of gravity by racing my bike down hills as fast as I could peddle – without a helmet. The thought of plummeting to the ground never crossed my mind. Today, when I go riding with my kids, I am quick to keep the brakes on to prevent going too fast down hills. What happened to this former rebel? Some might say I grew older and wiser. For clearly, I now understand how falling hurts and the short-term thrill of riding fast down hills isn’t worth the risk of pain and potentially breaking my bones now that I’m in my forties.
Similarly, many of the rebel ways we demonstrated in our youth eventually fade away over time. For we began to realize the damage these actions cause. However, can there be times when rebellion is a good thing? I think so, especially when it comes to conforming to those things destined to kill, steal and destroy our lives and testimonies.
Running: Are there things we run from, or towards in life? For example, do our actions indicate we are running from our responsibilities to provide, protect and pastor over our families in the most impactful ways possible? If so, perhaps a little rebellion to those things could do us some good in reprioritizing our priorities to serve more as building blocks, rather than stumbling stone (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
Working: Does work have to be stifling, stressful and suffocating, or can it actually be both fulfilling and stimulating? Some may rebel against work, and even feel enslaved by it. However, when we realize our work can actually exist as one of the greatest gateways we’ve been given to serve others and reflect the power of Christ, the way we view it, approach and engage it dramatically changes (Matthew 5:16).
Worshipping: As Christians we understand the dangers of idols in our life. For it’s those things that distract us and allure us away from having God as our greatest priority and devotion. This struggle is daily, for the Bible instructs us to be living sacrifices, but what does something that’s alive naturally try to do if it’s about to be sacrificed? Escape! Likewise, we are naturally inclined to do the same. Yet, when we maintain Christ as our priority of worship, higher than our desires for more possessions, positions, and/or promotions, it is no longer our flesh that controls us, but the power of Christ living in us that overcomes (Proverbs 3:6).
Application: “Catching A Cause” – Romans 12:2
In my younger days, I thought it cool to be the “Rebel Without A Cause”. However, I eventually realized that what I thought was cool was actually causing me to rebel against the things of God, rather than the ways of man. In reality, why would anyone want to live out their days without a cause? Rather, to have a purpose is much more meaningful, especially when it comes from God. For this provides us true joy, peace, focus and perspective, despite our circumstances, because we know we have something greater than our troubles and/or triumphs – Christ.