Surely you’ve rebelled a few times in your life. Even the times you weren’t caught count! It’s not just our outward actions that count as rebellion. Attitudes and thoughts can be equally as rebellious and lead to just as much—if not more—trouble. As we try to define rebellion, we can quickly get into trouble. We might narrow it to only mean those things that go against what others tell us we should or shouldn’t do. Can we really count those things as rebellion when we might not even agree with them? What about narrowing the definition even further to include only the things we believe we should or shouldn’t do? Well, haven’t your standards and reasons for behavior changed over time?
You can rationalize the rebellion of your teens years by stating your parents’ rules were ridiculous or declaring, “I was just a normal teenager.” You can rationalize what you did in the past even though you wouldn’t do it now because “I didn’t know better.” Couldn’t you perpetuate that cycle with the stuff you do now that doesn’t seem rebellious but might with the hindsight of a few more years?
We have to commit to a more solid definition of standards in order to accurately define rebellion. God’s truths and his guidelines don’t change. The concept of rebellion is quite simple: going against God’s guidelines is rebellion. That means you have rebelled. That means you will rebel in the future. But it also means you have to know God’s guidelines in order to follow them. God’s guidelines are the same whether you recognize them or not. God doesn’t change. You can make the excuse that you didn’t know, but what’s your excuse for not knowing? Is your excuse another case of rebellion?