Selective Obedience is Willful Disobedience

pause to contemplate them. Consider each word individually and the phrase collectively. What do the
words mean by themselves and together as a combined statement? Do you think the statement is true?
My guess is that almost everyone, perhaps even non-Christians, would view “Willful Disobedience” as
not a good thing on any level. Think about it – – “Willful Disobedience” to parents, teachers, the government,
one’s employer, etc. – – How can “Willful Disobedience” be anything but blatant rebellion? Would you say that
someone who chooses to be blatantly rebellious to authority is a good citizen; a good employee; a good student; a good
Christian? Let me give a point of clarity here. Someone who is “Willfully Disobedient” is NOT the same as someone
who is trying to be good, honorable, and obedient to God [and other authorities], BUT is making some non-purposeful
mistakes along the way. No, “Willful Disobedience” is purposeful rebellion, disorder, insubordination, and defiance.
Now, let’s consider the other part of the paragraph heading above. What does “Selective Obedience” mean? Well,
to state the obvious [for emphasis] – It means what it says. To be “Selective” in anything is to choose something
[someone] over something [someone] else. In one sense, to be “Selective” is to be discriminatory – one discriminates,
differentiates, and chooses [selects] one person or thing over another. In the paragraph heading above, what is
“selected” is one or more areas of authoritative law over another. One “selects” what one wants to obey or follow [for
whatever reasons] and discriminates against [rejects] what one does not want to obey or follow [for whatever reasons].
Now that we’ve looked a little more closely at the paragraph heading above. What would you say? Do you think
it’s true that “Selective Obedience” amounts to [equates] “Willful Disobedience?” I think it does.
In Matthew 19:16-22 Jesus encounters a man who had practiced “Selective Obedience.” In the context the man
appears to think pretty well of his efforts toward “obeying God.” Relative to our discussion herein, Jesus’ response to
the man might be fairly summarized as: “You can’t be ‘Selectively Obedient’ and still please God.” [Take a moment
and read Matt. 19:16-22; Mark 10:17-22; and Luke 18:18-23.]
PERSONAL APPLICATION: The Bible tells us to “examine ourselves” [2 Cor. 13:5]. With introspection let us
each answer the following questions: “How ‘Selective’ is my ‘Obedience’ unto God?” “What parts of ‘God’s word’
am I willfully and purposefully avoiding = choosing to NOT obey [“Selective Obedience”]?” Jesus said: “Why call me
‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not the things that I say?” [Luke 6:46].