Obedience Deficit Disorder

Posted By: Dieuner Joseph | Monday, September 23, 2019


And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love. 2 John 1:6

Obedience deficit disorder (ODD) is a spiritual disorder that causes a range of behavior problems such as difficulty in following God's commands, focusing on the great commission, keeping up with daily devotion and study of scripture, doing kingdom work, faithful participation in corporate worship, interacting with other believers and cultivating a life of prayer. The Church of Jesus Christ is full of people with ODD. That is why many local churches are struggling to survive, and twenty percent of the people in most churches do eighty percent of the work of ministry.

Obedience is one of the essential spiritual characteristics of an authentic disciple of Christ. In the Old and New Testament, the idea of obedience correlates to hearing or harkening to a higher authority. The Greek word hypakouo (obey) suggests the idea of positioning oneself under someone by submitting to their authority and command.

A concise definition of biblical obedience in the Holman's Illustrated Bible Dictionary is "to hear God's Word and act accordingly." According to the Eerdman's Bible Dictionary, "True 'hearing,' or obedience, involves the physical hearing that inspires the hearer, and a belief or trust that in turn motivates the hearer to act according to the speaker's desires." Thus, biblical obedience to God means to hear, trust, submit, and surrender to God and his Word.

Among the symptoms of ODD are biblical illiteracy, mediocre prayer life, and a lack of interest in spiritual activities. People with ODD are always in a hurry to leave corporate worship. They like to arrive at church services late and leave early. They are deficient in their ability to love others and God as instructed in the Bible.

In today's text, John reminds believers in Ephesus that walking in love is walking in obedience to God. Jesus told his disciples and us that walking in love is fulfilling (obeying) all of God's commandments (John 13:34). Anyone deficient in their ability to love others, and God has ODD.

The good news is that there is a cure for ODD. To combat ODD, we have to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above [ourselves]. Each of us should look not only to our own interests but also to the interest of others (Ephesians 2:3-4).

As we endeavor not to conform to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of our minds, we will find healing for our ODD. We can also treat ODD by offering our bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God (Romans 12:1). The most potent remedy to treat ODD, I think, is found in Psalm 119:11, "Your word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."

ODD makes it difficult for unity in the body of Christ. Christians with ODD do not like to evangelize. They struggle to walk in forgiveness and are reluctant to extend grace when a brother or sister has offended them.

The best support group for people with ODD is participation in Bible study/prayer meeting or small group ministry at their local church. ODD sufferers need to be encouraged by mature Christians that are intentionally living Bible-based/Christ-centered lives so that when they relapse they can be held accountable and be reminded of the promises of God according to Philippians 4:13, and Romans 8:37.

Prayer- Blessed Lord, thank you for providing the remedy in your word for our Obedience deficit disorder. Convict our heart and help us to walk in the path of obedience so we can have a right relationship with you.

About The Author

Rev. Dieuner Joseph is a dynamic leader, disciple Maker, Writer, Talk Show host, and Spiritual counselor. Reverend Joseph is the founder of the Imani Temple Baptist Church and the Disciple Maker Ministry. He is a skilled Bible teacher who carefully and responsibly exegete the Scriptures to make them relevant to today’s readers. Through his Blog and weekly Christian magazine- The Wednesday Word- he seeks to provide Bible based instructions for dealing with the socio-political issues of today.

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