The mother sat in my office with her head hung low. I could barely hear her voice as she shared her story with me. Her son, who had always had a strong rebellious streak, had finally done something bad enough to land him in jail. As a result, he had lost the only good job he had ever had. He had lost custody of his daughter, the one bright spot in his life. His girlfriend was refusing to answer his calls or cooperate with his lawyer to get him out of jail. The mother sobbed "His whole life is ruined and there is no way to fix it."
Though I wish I could have offered some great words of advice that would make all that mother's pain go away, there was little I could do but listen and pray. I had known her son for years. More than once I had deep conversations with him about his life and where it was headed. He was not interested in what some "Bible thumping preacher" had to say. He was not interested in what his mother had to say. He was not interested in what teachers at school had to say. He was going to do what he wanted, when he wanted and how he wanted. And that attitude landed him in jail, jobless, alone and broken.
Several years have passed since that conversation. To the best of my knowledge, he is back in jail again. Still broken, still stubborn, still rebelling against all authority. No amount of rehabilitation, counseling or punitive action seem to impact him. From a human perspective, he is broken beyond healing.
The only thing that can turn his life around would be for him to humble himself before almighty God, repent of his sins and place all his hope on Christ alone. But so far, he does not seem interested in that road to healing. So he struggles on, angry with his situation, blaming others, hating those who he perceives as the cause of his problem. Broken beyond healing.
Though this young man's situation is probably more extreme than most, he represents so many in our culture who are under the sway of the spirit of rebellion. That spirit of rebellion has caused them so much pain but they do not seem capable of turning loose of it. Until they do, they will remain broken beyond healing.
Lord, reveal Yourself in a powerful way to those under the sway of a spirit of rebellion. Bind that spirit and replace it with the overwhelming presence of Your Holy Spirit. Show them healing that only comes in the name of Christ through faith and repentance. Amen.
Dr. Terry W. Dorsett has been a pastor, church planter, denominational leader and author in New England for more than 20 years. He is a happy husband, a proud father and adoring grandfather. He is a cancer survivor and believes that God works powerfully through times of suffering. He has written a book about the spirit of offense that prevails in our current society. You can find all of his books at: