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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Determined to be Defiant

In recent times I have come to realize I am “determined to be defiant”. This is an attitude that has developed over time, and the older I get, the more defiant I become.

My daughter recently bought me a tee shirt that says, “don’t tell me what to do”. I think this just about sums up my determination to be defiant. Though I am okay with the perception others may have of my attitude, I have come to realize, being defiant for the sake of being defiant is not how I want to be.

Though the reasons for my defiance are always justified from my point of view, I am not certain those reasons are worth the relational equity they have cost me in recent times.

Because of this, I have begun to evaluate my choices much closer than I have in the past. As I do, I clearly see the flaw in my defiant nature.

This does not mean I give in when faced with a directive I find untenable. It simply means I am giving greater consideration to how my choices affect those around me.

You see, our choices always have consequences. Many times, even the right choices have consequences that may not be worth the price we must pay.

The past few years have shown me the cost of being “determined to be defiant”.

Honestly, though I would not change the reasons for my choices, I would most definitely do things differently because of the consequences those choices have brought to my life. The loss of influence and the relational destruction that has transpired have given me reason to pause and reassess who I am.

This is nothing new and I am not alone in this mindset. In fact, there are others in my sphere of influence who are even more “determined to be defiant” than I am.

My hope in writing this is to give us all of food for thought.

In Jesus’ day there were people who were, as “determined to be defiant” as I have been. The Pharisees, the Sanhedrin, and yes, even the disciples themselves demonstrated defiance in the face of situations and circumstances that challenged their paradigms and perspectives.

The one who never seemed to allow defiance to be the driving force in His character was Jesus. He was able to demonstrate His determination without being defiant. The irony is, as He did it seemed to create a defiant response in the others.

Is this because they disagreed with His perspectives or is it because He challenged theirs? I believe it is the latter and I also believe this is at the root of most of my defiance and probably yours.

What if we were to change our determination to be defiant into a determination to live out what we believe as Jesus did? Would we be able to change the world as He did?

The answer is, not only would we, but this is exactly what we have been called to do! The question is, will we determine to do so, or will we just remain “determine to be defiant”?

John 6:38, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

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