Sermon Illustrations

Chaffing Under Authority

How many of you are ‘rule-keepers’? When you see a rule do you try to do everything possible to not break it?

How many of you are ‘rule-breakers’? When you’re faced with a rule, do you find yourself wanting to inwardly disregard it or outwardly disobey it? I was accused of this on Friday night by my family when we were playing a card game. They claim I was cheating.

Now for all you ‘rule-keepers,’ before you start feeling smug about all the rules you keep, don’t most of us pick and choose which ones we’re going to follow? Driving 55, well that’s just too slow. The speed limit should be 65 or if you’re Pastor Dick driving to Biloxi, it should be 85. We tend to evaluate rules according to what we think should be right.

On their December 30th show, Nightline dedicated the whole half-hour to the topic: “2009: The Year of Behaving Badly.” Dubbed the “Red Carpet of Rogues and Wrong-doing,” they invited people to vote for the worst of the worst in several categories – celebrities, politicians, and financiers. Our own ex-governor not only won in the politician department, he was voted the biggest bad guy of them all.

Andy Stanley makes the point that most individuals chafe under authority. Somewhere along the way in our culture we’ve learned to quickly evaluate what we’re expected to do and then we decide whether or not we want to do it. Whether it’s parents or a boss or a teacher or a coach or government or God, if I disagree with the ‘what’ then I can disregard what it is I’m being told to do. Stanley writes: “And I don’t feel guilty. I don’t go to bed at night and confess it as sin…because I’ve evaluated it and decided that it’s just a stupid rule.”

As we begin 2010, I want to propose that Scripture presents a far different paradigm. If you not only want a new year but more importantly, a new you, then remember this: It’s not about ‘what,’ it’s all about ‘who.’

From a sermon by Brian Bill, God, Government and You, 1/3/2010

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