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Authority used to be a bad word, but it’s gotten better

Once when I was 29, my mother asked me if I perhaps I would benefit from a mentoring relationship with an older man. I brushed her off, not really considering it until my life fell apart four years later and I was desperate for guidance. In part I dismissed my mom’s probing question because I’d …
By Seth Barnes
By Seth Barnes

Once when I was 29, my mother asked me if I perhaps I would benefit from a mentoring relationship with an older man. I brushed her off, not really considering it until my life fell apart four years later and I was desperate for guidance.

In part I dismissed my mom’s probing question because I’d never had a great example of authority and mostly had seen it abused. A few years later, when my world had come apart, I knew I was a mess and needed guidance to find my way to sanity again.

When I was on a board of elders, the church pastor used to give us a detailed bar chart outlining his time usage. He would ask brusque questions of elders like, “Are you involved in looking at pornography?”
 
In fact, he was one of the more unaccountable people I’ve ever known – his understanding of authority was shallow.
 
We all have to come under authority of one sort or another. Even CEOs are accountable to boards of directors for their performance. But in our independence-prizing culture, it’s a rare young person who doesn’t have authority issues.
 
Our churches reflect this syndrome. Denominations are on the wane. Authority figures throughout society are being questioned.
 
The fact is, we all benefit by coming under authority. The Centurion understood this lesson before he ever met Jesus, and his faith amazed Jesus. His servant was healed (Luke 7:10) as a consequence. Too many of us miss out on miracles because we haven’t understood authority.

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Seth Barnes

I'm motivated to join God in his global reclamation project. He's on the move, setting his sons and daughters free from their places of captivity. And he's partnering with those of us who have been freed to go and free others.



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