Monday, March 2, 2009

The Spirit of Rebellion

I didn't want to admit that I had a rebellious spirit that was infecting my children. I don't mind admitting that I'm a sinner saved by grace, but it hurts to say, "I have a rebellious spirit." Does anyone understand what I'm saying? I've heard thousands of testimonies, but I can't remember anyone saying, "God spoke to me about my rebellious spirit."

The spirit of rebellion renders us incapable of giving balanced discipline. This rebellious spirit distorts our judgement so that we are too harsh or too lenient. We are incapable of balance and our children are over-disciplined which causes bitterness or they are undisciplined and become foolish. Either way, we cheat them of character development. By now, some of you may be asking yourselves, "What tell tale signs would I look for to see if I have a rebellious spirit?"

Five evidences of a spirit rebellion are bitterness, stubbornness, unteachableness, undisciplined living, and argumentation.

1. Bitter people reveal their bitterness by complaining about their lot in life. They tell you that things would be different for them if they had your silver spoon. When you listen to a bitter person talk, you discover that all their problems are the fault of others. Bitter people have a difficult time accepting personal responsibility. If you find yourself blaming others, check for spirit rebellion.

2. A stubborn person refuses to open his or her heart to listen to the facts. There is a rejection of open, honest dialog because their position will collapse under the light of truth.

3. A teachable person is an intelligent listener. It's very easy to spot an un-teachable person. First, their principle interest is to support their own position. The intelligent listener will make the extra effort to understand what you are trying to teach them. A rebellious spirit causes us to be selective listeners. An unteachable person will seldom view life through another person's glasses.

4. Undisciplined living can be express in ways other than drunkenness and immorality. Some people show it by over spending their budget, others who are habitually late for meetings, some by laziness, and not keeping the promises they make to others.

5. An argument is a clash of wills. If you have a tendency to want to impose your will on others, that may be your signal that you have not dealt with your spirit of rebellion.

I will bend my knee in submission. Parenting is a high stakes game in which the winner enjoys a life time of happiness, joy and peace of mind and the loser has tears, sorrow and shame. Therefore, play to win.

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