ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Is obedience a good thing? (Part 1)

Updated on January 25, 2011

What is obedience?

Simply, “doing what you are told to do.”

Some people would add “without hesitation or delay.” I think I would put myself into that group as well.

Obedience is a very common and natural occurrence in the lives of human beings. Obedience is that tendency to follow the instructions or orders of an authority. Thusly, it can be assumed that there is a “relationship” between two entities or persons. Moreover this could be described as a vertical relationship, since there is a dominance or superiority of one over the other.

Some may say that the authority does not have to be a person or persons, but in essence the authority has to lie with some being. Some examples of these suggested exceptions would be “social standards” or “laws,” but these are actually only edicts – commands or instructions that come from the authority. The authority is the “author” or “issuer” of the commands or instructions.

One traditional view of authority defines authority more in terms of force or capacity to exercise dominance or control over someone or a group. But I tend to view authority as a relationship. The power to “call the shots” must be allowed or sanctioned by those under the authority.

(There is also the concept that “authority” is merely the power or capacity to influence or command.)

If authority is in essence granted, then what causes a person to make this commitment or submission to another, thus establishing this authority relationship? It is normally some form of trust or fear. Trust and fear are both related to an anticipation of or belief in expected outcomes for obedience or for disobedience (with obedience the best expectations, with disobedience the worst). The recognition of authority also can be voluntary or coerced through force or domination. But eventually the authority must be recognized and authenticated by the subject or follower.

There could be a stipulation that there is a difference between the trust-induced authority and the fear-induced version. The fear version might be called simply “power,” and would be the ability to force someone to do something that they don’t want to do normally. That would leave the trust version as “authority” and would be a characterized by the acceptance of its legitimacy for the ability to control and influence.

However an authority comes into existence, whether by compulsion or persuasion, the compliance with the commands, wishes, directions, advice, opinions, or laws is called obedience. The obedience has to be given. Every person decides at some point how to act or which direction to go. The reasons eventually boil down to either fear or trust.

But there is a third reason for obedience, and it is tied to both fear and trust!

That reason is LOVE.

In horizontal relationships (relationships that do not involve superior/inferior beings but rather are between persons of equal standing), love is expressed in many ways. It normally involves actions such as giving, defending, and caring – doing unto others, as you would have them do unto you. (Matt 7:12) Other characteristics of love are found in 1 Cor. 13:4-8a (known as the “Love Chapter”)

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.

Love in a vertical relationship (one that involves an authority and subject) cannot be expressed in the same way. The characteristics are similar because this ability to love is part of our creation (in the image of God). The expression is different, just like the relationship is different.

In Matthew 22:36-40, we are told to love God with all our heart, soul and mind.

36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

How is this done? How do we demonstrate our love for Him?

We are told in John 3:16 and Romans 5:8, that God demonstrated his love by giving up His Son to die for our sins and to make it possible for us to be reconciled with Him. But how are we to show our love to Him. God wants a relationship with us. That is why he took this extraordinary measure to make it possible for us to be rejoined with him. But what do we do, to love Him back. That is what He wants us to do—love Him back (remember the greatest commandment).

As you might have guessed, the answer is Obedience.

John 14:15 If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. (NAS)

For more see http://hubpages.com/hub/Is-obedience-a-good-thing-Part-2

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      anon 

      5 years ago

      discounting the second half of your article (since I am not Christian I have no comment), I'd like to know your opinion on something. As you mentioned and are likely aware of, vertical relationships in our society do exist. An example would be teachers to students, police to pedestrians, bosses to employees and I'd even go as far as to say upper class to lower class. So my question is, shouldn't the only vertical relationship in our lives consist of the one we share with God? Isn't giving into your bosses, teachers, the police's, or a wealthy persons demands for whatever reason (money, education, safety, etc.), the same as saying they are above you? I am not challenging your article I am actually just very curious. I've always had issues with authority and people telling me what to do. Recently I've been trying to be less aggressive to authority figures...so?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)