We like obedience in our pets; we’d love it in our toddlers and teenagers. But how many of us like to apply it to ourselves? Most of us have grown up with “free will” and “freedom” as integral parts of our psyches.

Preachers know this, so it’s easy to see how they might not want to push on the Biblical texts requiring obedience. Nonetheless, those texts are hard to miss, since they are all over the place. I’ll include two or three at the bottom of this post for those in the mood for scourging.

So … how fascinating to find a novel built around the concept of holy obedience. Lisa Samson‘s 2009 book The Passion of Mary-Margaret relates the story of a religious sister whose focus her entire life has been the religious life – but then she receives the divine instruction to marry a man who had once been her childhood friend but had since entered into a sordid life involving prostitution and heroin.

What’s the likelihood that you would feel compelled to be obedient in that situation? Lisa Samson is a writer who knows her way around a difficult theme, and this is a book worth reading. Now for those few (of many) passages I promised:

Romans 2:13: “For it is not those who hear the law who are righteous in God’s sight, but it is those who obey the law who will be declared righteous.”

Luke 11:28: “He replied, “Blessed rather are those who hear the word of God and obey it.”

Job: 36:11: “If they obey and serve him, they will spend the rest of their days in prosperity and their years in contentment.”


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