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Rebel Without a Cause?

by Patty Froese Ntihemuka

Your self-destructive tendencies are hiding an awesome gift from God!

 You sit in the office, your head down, feelings of anger and disgust boiling inside of you. It seems like trouble follows you from the minute you wake up in the morning until you lay down at night. You try to figure out what’s happening to you, but things still seem to get messed up somehow.

“Self-destructive,” “a bad influence,” “always in trouble,” they say, acting as if you are not in the room.  You’re always being hauled into some office or another. The more you get yelled at, the angrier you become. Eventually you just give up. 
“Fine!” you declare. “If I’m self-destructive, so be it! This is me! They don’t understand me anyway. They only see ‘warning signs’ and ‘delinquent behavior’ anyway. They don’t see me, so why should I care anymore?”
I know you’re about to write “them” off and accept who they say you are, but are you really a bad seed? a lost cause? Are those feelings inside of you proof of your seriously bad nature?  
I beg to differ! 
Your personality was put together very carefully before you were even conceived, and, like it or not, that stubborn streak may have been part of the plan. What wasn’t part of that plan was all the trouble you keep getting into.  
Born troublemakers?
Babies aren’t born as “blank slates.” People who have had kids have told me that they come into this world complete with personalities and stubborn streaks. Apparently, I was quite the little tot to deal with. My mother had to read reams of parenting books from day one just to get a handle on me.
 The psalmist David seems to support the idea that God had a role shaping who you are: “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well” (Psalm 139:13, 14, NKJV).*  
If God knew us before the moment of conception and then orchestrated our conception and birth, then He also knew about  the personalities that would emerge. If we are fearfully and wonderfully made, then underneath all our rebellion is some quality that God put there for His glory. In God’s family there are no “accidents.”
Consider Samson, the strongman of the Bible. Samson was the epitome of “self-destruction.” He partied hard. He liked “the ladies”—and not the nice girls, either. He preferred the Philistine girls who weren’t encumbered with Jewish morals. He was violent and crude, and he had an anger problem that resulted in the death of many people. 
To us, Samson seems like just another self-destructive rebel, but God had created him for a special purpose. God had announced his birth and gave his mother special instructions. Samson was going to be someone special (Judges 13).
Doesn’t it seem a little strange that Samson, a “big” troublemaker, was God’s chosen? When he was about to get married, his bride-to-be told the answer to a riddle he was using to torment his new family. In a rage because they discovered the answer, he not only insulted his bride but went on a rampage that left 30 men dead. Samson was violent. He was dangerous.
Was this a part of God’s plan for Samson?  No, quite the opposite. God created him to be someone magnificent, but Samson’s choices changed God’s plan.  
God put Samson together from the first cell and synapse to the last nerve and blood vessel. God created him with a strong personality. God gave him passion, strength, and a deep sense of justice. God created him with charisma and leadership ability. God gave Samson a destiny.   
How could a guy with all those gifts mess up so badly? Well, Samson’s mistakes all came about because he had separated himself from God.  
Samson had horrible taste in women. He was attractive, strong, and capable of a deep love, but he made poor choices in his female friendships, and those choices led to poor marital choices. Samson refused to let God lead in his choice of a wife. If he had allowed God to lead him, his passion and love could have been fulfilled in one woman for a lifetime.  
Samson’s pride was easily wounded. It didn’t take much to set him off. He would do anything to get revenge on those who insulted him. 
Generally speaking, revenge is not a positive character trait, but God had created Samson with a very keen sense of justice.  Samson was created to be Israel’s champion deliverer from Philistine oppression. That job required someone who would not tolerate injustice in any form. If he had allowed God to lead his life, Samson’s sense of justice would have been used to avenge the abuse of women and children. God would have used him  to squelch the insults of the Philistines against his people.
Samson had a quick temper. When he got angry, he often acted out in a rage. If he’d gone to the root of his anger, he would have found God there. Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Here’s what I mean.
Samson’s quick temper was evidence of his passion and bravery. If someone did him wrong, he was willing to face a thousand men, by himself, to right that wrong! That passion and bravery would have made him a perfect commander and leader of God’s people. Instead, for much of his adult life he lived without God; he was a brawler and a thug.  
Samson didn’t have to lead the tragic life he did. He didn’t have to die with his eyes gouged out and his head shaved. God had created him to be someone very different. The choice, however, of who he would eventually become was Samson’s. Had he chosen to stay close to God, Samson could have rivaled David as Israel’s greatest leader!  
What do you do?
What do you do when you see destructive tendencies in your life? Could your spirit of rebellion be hiding something great that God has called you to do? Maybe God gave you a strong spirit for some difficult challenge that you are tailor-made to meet? A weaker personality couldn’t face the giants that God wants you overcome!  
But, like Samson, how your life turns out is your choice. Do you choose God to lead your life or do you choose the world?  
When you yield your will to God consistently, your stubborn streak will become perseverance and faith. Your anger problem will become passion for God’s cause. Easily wounded pride will become a love for justice. Rebellion will become leadership. Your downward spiral will become a race to the top. With God, your self-destructive tendencies will become leadership qualities. 
Are you a rebel without a cause? Choose the only cause that matters. Choose God and become the spectacular hero God intended you to be!
*Texts credited to NKJV are from the New King James 
Version. Copyright © 1979, 1980, 1982 by Thomas 
Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Patty Froese Ntihemuka writes from Canada. She 
continues to write in every spare moment.

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