Selective Obedience

Let me give you a little glimpse into a scene that is played out all too often in my life.  I have a very bad habit; I tend to get busy thinking about something and I end up ignoring people who are talking to me.

Here is an example that tends to happen fairly frequently.  While eating with friends or family, I can tend to get lost in thought about the day or what I need to do or what to talk about.  Meanwhile, somebody needs the salt, which is setting right next to (you guessed it) the daydreamer.

“Please pass the salt.”

(clears throat) “Please pass the salt.”


“Oh, you were talking to me.” I say, slightly embarrassed.

And every once in a while, somebody will tell me that I have selective hearing, I only hear what I want to hear.

Today, I have been thinking about the importance of being obedient to God and the danger of selective obedience to His will and commandments.  All of us have been there at one time or another, and truth be told, many are probably there today.  We are obeying God in almost every area of our life but there are one or two things that we are holding on to.  And we have convinced ourselves that it is okay because we are being obedient in so many other ways.  We hold on to our disobedience so long that we are deceived into believing that it is obedience! (Saul is a good Biblical example of this)

Disobedience and deception grow together.  Deception leads to disobedience leads to deception leads to disobedience leads to…you get the picture. 

Here is the problem with selective obedience; we can be obedient in 99 out of 100 areas, but 99 acts of obedience do not offset the sin, misdirection, and lost time of the one act of disobedience.

Selective Obedience is Disobedience.  This is not to say that if you are failing to be obedient in one area of your life that you should just give up and all hope is gone.  No, rather, you need to pray for the grace of God to help you be obedient in every thing.  This is the will of God and it will bring you true joy and peace that can only come from walking in His will.

“In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”  Proverbs 3:6

So how about it?  I know that you are following Him, but are you fully obeying?  Is there something you need to do?  Something you need to give up?  Pray about it.

3 thoughts on “Selective Obedience

  1. Interesting thought….”we hold onto our disobedience so long we deceive ourselves into thinking we are obedient”. It is a reminder that we need to consistently ask ourselves, Create in me a clean heart, O God and renew a right spirit within me. SO MANY TIMES OUR OWN SINS ARE BLINDED TO OUR OWN EYES, WHEN THEY CAN BE SO CLEARLY SEEN BY OTHERS. I think the 99 to 1 ratio thought is so thought provoking. That the good will outweigh the bad. We will feel justified, with the good we do. Wow, how far away from TOTAL surrender I am. If you look deep in our hearts, all areas that we struggle with…whether it be pride, fear, worry, greed, etc… all come from NOT totally surrendering.

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