What is the first thing that comes to your mind when you think of a rebel?
Likely, you just pictured a teenager with pink hair and a nose piercing who mouths off to her parents and gets into trouble with her friends. Most people would call teenage rebellion a normal part of life. Teens are supposed to rebel against authority. Every teen is rebellious at one time or another, right?
As teens, society expects us to rebel. And all too often, we gladly buckle to those expectations.
But what would happen if we surprised the world by rebelling against rebellion?
We could rebel by submitting. We could rebel by respecting authority, by working hard, by following the rules. We could rebel by being responsible, having integrity, and caring about people besides ourselves.
What would the world think if teens, or really millennials as a whole, stopped behaving the way we’re expected to behave, and started submitting to the will of God for our lives? First Timothy 4:12 says: “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” Rather than buckling to the world’s expectations for us, the Apostle Paul says that we need to be setting an example for all believers. That is what God expects of us, and our generation as a whole is miserably failing.
As teens, it is not our job to make the lives of our parents and teachers as difficult as possible. Contrarily, we are to be setting an example for them in how we live and speak. Let 1 Timothy 4:12 become our mantra as we strive to serve God amidst the pressure of the world’s expectations.
So yes, every teen is rebellious. The difference is whether we are rebelling against the world or against God. Which will you choose?