Life Hack #31: Throttle Down on the Control Factor


Life Hack #31: 

Your life is not your own - it is merely on loan. Life choices may be made in haste, but the consequences will be around a long time to come. In the movie, "Rebel Without a Cause", a bunch of emotionally confused and morally rebellious youth reveal absolute defiance against all authority and repeated "bad choices". The truth portrayed in the death of a best friend is really a reminder to all that without warning life can turn upside down. Today's choices will affect more than today's outcomes. Rebel a little here and there, repeat the behavior, and before long, you are living a life that is really not close to God at all.

Fear God, dear child—respect your leaders; don’t be defiant or mutinous. Without warning your life can turn upside down, and who knows how or when it might happen? (Proverbs 24:21-22)

Most of us would not classify our 'rebellion' as outright defiance - that open discontent with someone or something, or outright daring and bold resistance to it. Ever heard anyone say, "I may be sitting down on the outside, but I am standing up on the inside"? They are being a little rebellious or defiant to some authority. Our 'rebellion' may not be "open", or outright bold, but is just as damaging to our character! Inward defiance is dangerous, for it sets down roots and begins to grow until it eventually finds a way of becoming expressed in our actions and attitudes.

Rebellion brings into play the questioning of traditional beliefs or norms. A rebel resists control by anyone other than himself. There is no desire to 'conform' inwardly or outwardly. A rebel seeks to take over control - to assume the authority belonging to another - because he believes he can do it better. Our list of "life hacks" has been long, but all are important. We must have a sound foundation for interpersonal relationships, a right respect for authority, and a proper focus on the one who really matters deals with the tendency of our heart to resist control. 

Our 'hacks' began with the idea of "tested principles" by which, when embraced, we will come to live "accountable" lives. If you look back at these principles, you will see a tie between how we treat others and ourselves being directly linked to the respect we give to God in our lives. If we won't submit to his authority as primary, all these sayings are merely that - sayings. If we take his authority as that which is the only one worth submitting to, we are on our way to developing a strong foundation for living thoroughly accountable lives.

We end with the attitude of heart and mind which reflects our own desire to be in control! It is a dangerous thing to hold onto the reins of our life so tightly that we become "rebels" and "deviants". Our lives will be turned upside down if we continue to hold so tightly to our own ways of doing things - the need to be in control overriding all sense and sensibility. Authority is evident all around us and what we choose to do with it matters. How we choose to submit, or resist is determined not in the immediacy of the moment, but in the "set" of the heart and mind in the long term. When our heart is right with God, we find rebellions against authority (even his) are a little more difficult. Focus determines heart direction - stay focused on Jesus and your heart's tendency toward rebellion and deviance will soon begin to have less pull in your life. Just sayin!

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