Rebels beware: the advice herein is that you follow the rules. What a concept, huh?

Hebrews 13: 17 17 Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no benefit to you.

“Do what you’re told.” I used to hear that once in a while growing up. It was often in relation to some task I hadn’t done because I didn’t want to do it (think, cleaning my room, washing my clothes, picking up after myself and later, getting home by my curfew). I didn’t always fail to do what I was told but I’d be lying if I said I was consistent in following instruction. I think I saw it more as orders and I absolutely didn’t like being told what to do.

The thing is we all get told what to do. It may be by our boss, our spouse, our parents, our family or even by our conscience but we’re always taking direction of some kind. Early on when we’re young we get a LOT of this. The simple reason is we don’t know much. We have to be told what to do so we can learn how to act because how we act will determine the results and level of happiness we’ll enjoy as we go about our lives. People that don’t listen, don’t submit to authority or don’t get any instruction in the ways of the world often find themselves at odds with it. Paul’s really saying the same thing to the Hebrews in this verse.

The Hebrews needed instruction. They needed guidance. They needed someone to tell them how things worked, what was right and wrong and what they should do as they followed their leader. That leader was Jesus Christ. Furthermore, Paul goes on to say that by having confidence, trusting in the judgment of those leaders, they would experience joy in what they do. It seems pretty logical that something done in joy rather than as a burden will have a benefit to the doer.

When you think about it, if we realize the intent of what we do in submission to the guidance and authority of our leader is for our benefit; why wouldn’t we want to do what we’re told?

What are you being told to do that you’re resisting? How would doing it benefit you and bring you joy?


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