“But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, reasonable, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial, free of hypocrisy.” James 3:17 NASB
“Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.” Mark Twain
Authority. That word sends chills up my spine, a knot in my stomach, fear and a closed mind.Why? Because authority has been abused in my life. Yours? We know the types that bully, shame, withhold, judge, and intimidate with their authority. It could have been a boss, spouse, parents, colleague that first taught us what authority means. I had a boss who took me out visiting clients and when we were done, dinner and a sexual proposition. I said no. I was fired. There were no witnesses or legal assistance of any kind and the shock with other shaming feelings were numerous. What did I do to deserve this situation? Did I do something? Did I say something to create this sickening situation? The answer is no.
And Black Sheep/Scapegoat types have suffered through many authoritarian experiences that drummed into us the wounds of abusive authority. We reacted accordingly to our detriment many times, while encouraging the abuse patterns. How about in the world? One mob against another trying to prove their virtue, mandates, ultimatums, accusations and more that do not solve. Do not heal. Do not last. But boy is there money and power in division! The foundation for much destruction from our home life, church life to media and politics. A poison that cannot save, ego for a bit, but no resolution. Nothing that lasts.
Jesus demonstrates a different kind of authority. He didn’t have to. He chose to. He never demanded authority, but realized the Father was the true, loving and final authority. In fact, anyone who demands authority has already lost it. But Jesus showed us that we black sheep, scapegoats and ne’er-do-wells are encouraged to ask for help, wisdom, comfort and our daily bread without fear, threats, ultimatums or recriminations. A much different kind of authority. Discipline, to be sure, because we are a fellow heir. What a concept! Not easy to grasp. Even more astonishing is he trusts us with his authority to go out in the world! A treasure.
I will practice going to the True Authority today. I will not go alone. I will not go in my own strength. I will go with trust. Join me?
True authority encourages intimacy, empowerment, peace, problem-solving and affection. As an old song said, “Let it begin with me.” God gives us authority in partnership with him. The only proven way.
You have given us authority to go out into the world for your glory. We’ve had bad experiences with authority and with your gracious help, we turn those abuses into positive experiences. When we think we don’t matter, can’t make a difference, or dwell in self-pity, restore us with your gracious authority.