Preference, Conviction, Rebellion?


God has created us with differing gifts, abilities and preferences…

Between backgrounds, talents and even spiritual gifts there is a variety of opinions about a variety of issues…

Let me give a personal illustration:  Recently, as a family, we read the book, When Helping Hurts, (if you have not read this book I highly recommend it). It was something I wanted our family to discuss and think through in a biblical manner. Now, as much as I recommend it, my 17 and 15 year old would not be as excited to recommend this book. They see the value and we had some engaging discussions but, between the charts and statistics they didn’t find it as interesting as Michele and I did. Now, they voiced their displeasure, they talked about other books they liked better, but they plodded through and read the book nevertheless. I say this because God really used this book in some real life lessons for our boys. On this specific book, there was never any rebellion, never any murmuring (at least that I am aware of), but they were clear that they were ready to get on to another subject. I say this because I do not know what was going on in their heart, that is between them and God, but what we were dealing with was a very clear difference of preference. If we were reading something that wasn’t consistent with Scripture or maybe a book on sexual purity that was too graphic and the boys came to me with concerns, that would not be an issue of preference, but rather it would then be an issue of conviction. To take this further, if they were undercutting, or lying about reading the book, or going to their room discussing how stupid Dad was to make them read the book…that would be an issue of rebellion.

My point in this is simple. Scripture gives us freedom in our preferences and opinions if conveyed in a biblical way. True biblical convictions should be discussed and explained. But, there is never a reason for rebellion. In truth, most of what we get upset about at home, work or even in our churches, tend to be preference issues that lead to a rebellious reaction. I think a way to think about this would be by asking the following:

Why is this bothering me so badly?  

Is this a Gospel issue?

Is this a violation of Scripture?

Is this a violation of my conscience?

Am I voicing my displeasure to people who that in fact can do nothing to remedy the situation, but will side with me?

Have I voiced my difference with the person and left it there if this is a preference?

Is disunity worth me getting my way?

Personally speaking, too often our issues at home, work and even at Church boil down to preferences. If that is the case, our lives should be lived out in preference of and submission to others.