Disobedience is defined as "the refusal or failure to obey." To disobey is defined as "to refuse or fail to follow an order or a rule." Obedience is "submission to the rule or authority of another, compliance with or performance of a command, law, yielding to some actuating force or agency". To obey is "to carry out or fulfill or comply with a command, order, or instruction."

Disobedience is a soul taint. Persistent or deliberate disobedience is a sin.

Parents are under solemn obligation before law to teach their children the need for obedience to law, and to teach the laws themselves. Failure to do so causes the parents to pay a debt of responsibility for the child's disobedience in adulthood.

Edna Lister on Disobedience

If you misuse ascension Power, you lose face and place, which will cause you great sorrow and labor in your climb back to glory. The climb is higher, the fire is doubled, for purification must be complete. – Edna Lister, October 31, 1938.

You must pay disobedience to a law in full. – Edna Lister, November 6, 1938.

Disobedience causes damage to delicate fibers of mind and body. – Edna Lister, January 11, 1939.

You can avoid much future sorrow by recalling past grief and heartache over disobedience. – Edna Lister, April 5, 1939.

Go to God every night in humility and penitence for the seconds you misspent on earth. – Edna Lister, April 19, 1939.

Disobedience anywhere by anyone disturbs all vibrations everywhere. – Edna Lister, September 13, 1939.

To count self-will and disobedience as free will is misuse of Mind, Substance and Power. – Edna Lister, A Design for Ascension, 1941.

If you sidestep responsibility, you pay a triple debt for disobeying law. You need not pay debts the hard way if you let Shekinah glory use you as joy to pay all debts while you receive a redoubled blessing of added things. – Edna Lister, May 6, 1941.

To break one law creates a debt to be paid to all law. Stand steadfastly and love so well that law shall always be in balance for you. – Edna Lister, December 26, 1944.

Perception grows more acute as awareness of disobedience to law increases. – Edna Lister, January 31, 1945.

Repent as you work, when and where you disobey. Repent here for your disobedience here, not in heaven when you disobey here. – Edna Lister, July 7, 1945.

Watchful obedience is an essential law, or you can slip into a worse state, causing greater soul debts than before. Your debts have been softened and modified because of deep ignorance since the Fall; thus, you can create as much debt in one disobedience now as you did in one whole lifetime under ignorance. – Edna Lister, July 10, 1945.

Whenever you ask, "What is wrong with me? Why am I down? Why do I feel this way?", you are not under the Light and have disobeyed. – Edna Lister, September 19, 1945.

When you ignore law, the self says, "I will hold sway. I am minding my own business, but he is … " So it goes until you kick your self black and blue. – Edna Lister, July 6, 1947.

One disobedience of law does not excuse another. – Edna Lister, July 20, 1956.

Obey physical laws. If you disobey, you tempt others to demand unjustly. Once a soul breaks a law, it always involves many, eventually reaching out to include the whole earth. – Edna Lister, March 6, 1951.

Taking advantage of an opportunity is different from taking a chance, which is usually a minor infraction that leads to huge disobedience. – Edna Lister, May 28, 1953.

When you live by honor sincerely, never disobeying that honor in lesser ways, you earn high credits when you leave earth. – Edna Lister, May 19, 1955.

Disobedience to law causes dis-ease, dis-comfort and all limitation. – Edna Lister, The Art of Right Thinking and Expression, September 16, 1955.

Even in the midst of disobedience, you can call upon God's laws. – Edna Lister, The Three Temptations, February 19, 1956.

Power will not tolerate misuse — it turns and rends you. The slightest misuse of Power can cause 100,000 people to fail in a few seconds. – Edna Lister, June 18, 1956.

You cannot disobey the law with impunity. The higher you are in soul ascension, the greater the reaction of force. – Edna Lister, December 15, 1957.

You experience delays because your disobedience kills your desires. – Edna Lister, Ten Commandments and Beatitudes, November 4, 1958.

You always disobey all laws when you excuse self by saying such things as, "I can't help it because I'm in the business world where it goes on all the time." Nothing excuses twisting your ethics. – Edna Lister, December 15, 1958.

Someone who has seen the truth, then turns his back and disobeys, amasses great debts and uses his own soul substance in payment. – Edna Lister, Visualization, May 17, 1959.

You can use law for yourself, but not to make others do what you want. – Edna Lister, June 18, 1959.

Only ignorance and disobedience to principle need healing. – Edna Lister, Healing by Principle, July 12, 1959.

Everyone must obey the laws of business. If they disobey but are not caught by man's laws, they are caught by disobedience to physical laws. – Edna Lister, August 24, 1959.

You always pay debts to the law for disobedience to vows you make. – Edna Lister, The 33 Degrees of Soul Conquering, October 20, 1959.

If you disobey law, the Emanations of Love, Wisdom and Joy in Selflessness and teach men so, you shall become the least in the kingdom, a floating entity, mindless. – Edna Lister, May 8, 1960.

The law of obedience covers all law, for if you break the least of the laws, you have broken the whole. "If I break the least of these laws, I am guilty of breaking all law." – Edna Lister, January 6, 1961.

You do not get by with any physical misuse — you always pay a debt. – Edna Lister, January 12, 1961.

Indifference leads into disobedience. Man's disobedience to principle, the Divine Plan and the law destroys his civilizations. – Edna Lister, God's Magna Carta, October 29, 1961.

The law has no sense, but is automatic. If you disobey one law, it blocks everything. – Edna Lister, The Four Powers: Power to Ascend, December 18, 1962.

Even a few seconds of sinking often requires three months to regain the same place. – Edna Lister, September 27, 1963.

You must catch the subconscious in the act of disobedience to cleanse and purify it thoroughly. Challenge yourself every step of the way or you slide into decline. The first evidence is that you forget and miss details. Make every moment a challenge to climb until your desire burns, until you can't sit, sleep or think without challenging yourself. Hunger and thirst to return to the Source and you don't rest until you do. "Lord, don't let me miss a detail today." – Edna Lister, July 28, 1964.

You have only three reasons for disobedience to law. First is lack of knowledge that a law covers this instance. Second, a lack of understanding when you do know. Finally, willful disobedience. You disobey every time you object. – Edna Lister, July 28, 1964.

It is well immediately to learn that you may offer no excuses. All your difficulties arise from making excuses for disobedience. The quest is to hide it from the self. You cannot cover it up from the universe or God's higher law. – Edna Lister, June 10, 1965.

When you disobey, you mock the Master. – Edna Lister, Behold, I Stand at the Door and Knock, June 19, 1966.

"If I disobey one law, I disobey all laws." You regress as many levels as the extent of your disobedience; your vibration dies down and you experience physical ailments. – Edna Lister, 1,000 Burnt Offerings, November 23, 1969.

When you disobey, you separate Power from Mind and Substance. Substance must be brought back and added to Mind, but the only way to lift misused Power is through a physical body. – Edna Lister, May 28, 1970.

Disobedience shuts off your access to the River of Life's life-giving flow. – Edna Lister, The Blind Man at the Pool of Siloam, December 6, 1970.

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New Testament on Disobedience

Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. – John 8:34.

Therefore we ought to give the more earnest heed to the things which we have heard, lest at any time we should let them slip. For if the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompence of reward; how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation; which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed unto us by them that heard him; God also bearing them witness, both with signs and wonders, and with divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will? – Hebrews 2:1-4.

[No] unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Let no man deceive you with vain words: for because of these things cometh the wrath of God upon the children of disobedience. – Ephesians 5:5-6.

If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: but if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors. For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. – James 2:8-10.

Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. – 1 John 3:4.

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Edna Miriam Lister
1884 – 1971
The original Christian Pioneering Mystic,
Platonist philosopher, American Idealist, Founder, Society of the Universal Living Christ, minister, teacher, author, wife, and mother.

Edna Lister

Etymology of disobey: Latin dis + oboedire, "to obey."

Etymology of obey: Latin oboedire, "to listen to": ob, "to" + audire, "to hear."

Disobedience is a soul taint.

Persistent or deliberate disobedience is a sin.


When you are out of harmony with God's will, problems come – their purpose is to push you into harmony. If you would willingly do God's will, you could avoid the problems. – Mildred Lisette Norman, Steps Toward Inner Peace

Obey something, and you will have a chance to learn what is best to obey. But if you begin by obeying nothing, you will end by obeying the devil and all his invited friends. – John Ruskin, as quoted by Wood, 1899, no. 237


The Compact Edition of The Oxford English Dictionary: 2 vols. E.S.C. Weiner, ed. Oxford University Press, 1971.

The Holy Bible. King James Version (KJV).

Related Topic

See Obedience