Hard Pill to Swallow

I’ve always had a problem with authority.

Fortunately for me and unfortunately for others, I’m a natural-born rebel (my parents and wife can attest to this). It’s what has caused both incredible friction and abundant blessings in my life. This instinct to buck the system is what fueled my motivation to build and own my own business. It’s what nourishes my entrepreneurial spirit. 

Yet, obedience is essential to being a Christian, and, for most people, it’s one of the hardest pills to swallow. It almost seems like God gave us two opposing laws when he gave us the freedom to choose, but the commandment to obey. We’re constantly torn between these two conflicting gifts. Why would God give us a choice and then tell us that abundant blessings come to those who obey His will? When obedience can feel confining, burdensome, and at times painful, why would God make it such a pre-requisite?

For many, the actual act of “Obedience” is the reason not to get involved in Christianity. We simply don’t want to be told what to do. Therefore, it’s easier to settle for less than God’s best for us. If we settle for less, than we’re on the hook for less, right?

Over the years, with much trial and a lot of error, I have actually learned first-hand that the cost of settling for less is actually harder than being completely obedient to God’s will. In my darkest days, when I struggled with obedience to God and believed I had more freedom because of it, I was more shackled and imprisoned than ever before. I had much less because I was fighting for much more of the wrong thing.

At that point in my life, I was looking at obedience the wrong way. Instead of looking at obeying God from the perspective of love, I was looking at it from the perspective of “have to” and “ought to.” Aristotle once said that wicked men obey because of fear and that good men obey because of love. When we start looking at obedience from that point of view, it changes the “have to” to “want to” and allows the blessings to flow. God’s will is nothing but goodness in our lives, and once we realize that, the barriers can come down, and true freedom can reign.

When you feel like it’s too hard to obey God, remember that He will never tell you to do something without giving you the grace, power, and ability to do it.