Proverbs 21:3 To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice.
Leaders are sometimes required to enforce rules with which they don't agree. I observed this happening with another department leader in my school. When I asked the leader why the mandated rules was being ignored, I was told that the spirit of the law was more important than the letter of the law. I pointed out that the written rule was meant to be followed by everyone. When the rules are not enforced it creates confusion and resentment toward leaders in other departments who are following the rules. The leader obviously did not agree with the mandated rule and believed that if the administrator did not know what was happening in that department, it wouldn’t matter.
It seems to me that a rule is meant to be followed. If you don't agree with a rule, then work to get it changed. To ignore a rule that all of your students understand encourages a form of disobedience called “Incomplete Obedience.” When I asked for clarification, the leader made the statement, “It is easier to get forgiveness than permission.” In other words, "I am not willing to appeal to the administrator regarding the mandate; instead, I will just ignore it or bend it a little to make things a little easier for me. And, should I get caught, I can play dumb and ask for forgiveness."
Leaders must be careful to not build rebellion in our students. If we do not agree with a rule, it is our responsibility to do one of two things: (1) Make an official appeal to the one that made the rule trying to get them to change it, or (2) Follow the rule and encourage the students to learn true obedience as they submit to a rule they don’t particularly like. Obedience is only learned when we do it through suffering. Obedience is giving up our “will” to follow the mandate of a leader, parent, or authority. When things always agree with students’ preferences, and they are never challenged to submit to an authority, they grow up without putting away the rebellion bound up in their heart (Proverbs 22:15). The Scriptures tell us that even Jesus learned from the things he suffered (Hebrews 5:8). True obedience begins when we obey when we don't particularly want to do what we are told to do. When we are asked to do something we want to do, we are simply agreeing rather than obeying. Obedience builds strength in character and a commitment to doing what is right.
Dear God, Open my eyes and help me to see if there is any rebellion in my heart toward my leaders. Teach me complete obedience, so I might lead my students into a greater commitment to obey God as they obey those in authority over them. Our world is very self-willed and rebellious. Work in my heart to build a greater desire to honor you through obedience to my authorities.
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Copyright © 2002-2013 by Elderine Wyrick
Polishing the Apple
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Wyrick, Elderine (2002-2013). "Article/Devotion Title" in Polishing the Apple, www.teacherdevotion.com.
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