My wife and I grew up in Christian home but navigated life differently. She never did anything wrong and I often didn’t do things right. We often joke that had we known one another in High School we wouldn’t be together today. What is it about rebellion that seems so sexy? It seems that rebelling against the traditional has become vogue. We have redefined rebellion to make it more palatable using phrases like “independence”, “sowing wild oats”, and “boys will be boys”. Life has rules and the sooner we accept this as fact the sooner we can mature into productive citizenry.
What makes us rebel? The obvious answer is that it is our choice. It is our responsibility. We choose to rebel.
What are the factors involved in rebellion? The main factor involved in rebellion is selfishness. We are so wrapped up in ourselves that we cannot see any other person. Selfishness warps our thinking. We only think of ourselves. I chose to behave in certain ways because I only concerned myself with myself. I wanted alcohol. I didn’t care about the people in the car. I wanted to jump the railroad tracks with a train coming. I didn’t care about how it affected anyone else. I wanted. Our rebellion is based on a selfishness that permeates every fiber of our being.
Why do some rebel and others do not? I was recently reminded of a quote from Josh McDowell:
Rules without relationship equals rebellion
Does that resonate with you? I have found it easier to follow the rules when I have an understanding of them and the onus behind them.
For example, I can make a rule and enforce it out of positional authority. John Maxwell defines this as “People follow you because they have to.” By the rights and privileges of the position I could simply respond with “Because I say so.” Some will comply while others will not. However, relying too heavily on positional authority will lead to rebellion. Your position might be parent, or shift leader, or management, or CEO. In whatever capacity that you have positional power be careful how you use it. The rules dispensed from position are valid but should be used sparingly. If position is abused you wind up with mutiny, labor union strikes, walkouts, divorce, runaways, and more.
Rules without relationship equals rebellion.
Maxwell suggests a step higher with permissive authority. While positional authority focus on the rights, permissive focuses on relationships. This type of authority has people obey because they want to obey. Working with kids I discovered that is a relationship is built then enforcement of rules becomes easier. ALL will attempt to test the boundaries, but with a relationship in place they desire to follow the rules because they internally need the established relationship. Those whom you manage will be far more loyal if they believe you have their best interests in mind rather than your own promotion. Your family and friends will be more loyal if they believe you listen and love them for who they are and not what they can do for you.
Stemming the tide of rebellion involves developing a relationship. Paul wrote to the Ephesians,
15 Pay careful attention, then, to how you walk—not as unwise people but as wise— 16 making the most of the time, because the days are evil.