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When is it right to rebel?

No, although I am a Southerner born and bred, you won’t see me flying a Rebel Flag.  But by my human nature I am a rebellious person.  My youth was loaded with making ways ‘around a system’ and outright rebellion, much of which I’m not proud of as wisdom opened my eyes to the folly of my youth.  Having a life-changing relationship with the Risen Messiah has clarified my rebellious nature earlier as mostly self-absorbed assertion of independence.

But when is it right to be in rebellion?  When is being a rebel a good thing?  Is there ever a time that a rebellious nature should, in fact, be allowed to step in and take charge?

Perhaps it is better looked at under what perimeters one more socially (or potentially morally) allowed to rebel.  I would agree that under these circumstances, the rebellion may be deemed appropriate:

  • During times of tyranny.
  • On behalf of oppression and persecution of the weak or voiceless.
  • When moral boundaries are overstepped and accepted as the norm by the powers that be.

Surely there are other time in which rebellion is acceptable.  Please feel free to comment with your opinions. But also remember, I may not agree…and we’re free to disagree.

Rebelling against the status-quot when it harms others can often be considered heroic, not an act of insurrection.  This is not always the case though.  Often it is merely a matter of perception that throws rebellion off course.  When the foundational reason for rebelling is based on perception, the starting point is already askew, thus the end result is not beneficial.  Rebellion, even for the ‘right cause’ can quickly go astray and damage the intention.

Here is a short list of check points to know when it is acceptable or appropriate to rebel.

  • When I alone am willing to pay the price for the rebellion.  No one else has to.
  • When I alone suffer any negative consequences and no one else is harmed in the process.
  • When I can think through most all possible scenarios that will result in the desired outcome that my rebellion will produce.

The thing is…the teenager who stays out partying all night may surely be in rebellion.  But he/she does not see the cost paid on the health of the worrying parent or the increased statistical risk of injury to self and others.  This teen cannot justify the rebellion based on the list above.

On the contrary, the example of so many others through out history have rebelled against odds, entities and establishments. All the while counting the cost, paying the price and praying for the outcome to benefit the masses.  Freedom is one ‘rebellion’ that costs dearly.  Salvation is another.  But those who paid the price for us, knew it all too well.

Are you able to decide when it is right to be in rebellion and when it is merely reaction from listening to hearsay, or being lead by propaganda, or a self-absorbed assertion of independence?  You can decide rather than react:  Check that the foundational reason is not askew, then ask yourself what is the price and are you willing to pay it, fully and alone.  This is the difference in being rebellious and being a “Rebel with a cause.”









One Response to When is it right to rebel?

  1. Chinese historians interpreted a successful revolt as evidence that the Mandate of Heaven had passed on. Throughout Chinese history, rebels who opposed the ruling dynasty made the claim that the Mandate of Heaven had passed, giving them the right to revolt.

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