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Authority, Not Control

“Authority exercised with humility and obedience accepted with delight are the very lines along which our spirits live.”

C.S. Lewis

I’ve started to meet with a Christian therapist for leadership coaching. I want to gain insight and encouragement so I fulfill all of God’s assignments. It was revealed at the end of my first session, that I need to walk in authority, with confidence.

For years, I’ve prayed to walk fully in my God-given authority, but it seemed I held back. As I began to ponder on what I thought authority and confidence meant, I realized I believed a lie. I’ve confused authority with control and confidence with pride. Not wanting to be controlling, or prideful, I’ve run as far away from authority and confidence.

Those who have authority or are experts in certain areas, gained that level of influence through their experience and knowledge. Because we’ve walked through something, or have extensively studied a topic, we have expertise and therefore others believe we have authority on that subject. When we persevere through a trial, and have breakthrough, then we’ve attained authority in that area to help others receive the same breakthrough. 

Authority is not given to load it over others, nor to control people. Authority is given for one reason: to serve others. Authority has left a bad tasted in my mouth because it’s been used as a weapon to control, hurt, or to use me for someone else’s gain. But that’s not godly authority. God wants us to use our authority for someone else’s benefit.

When my husband and I first started to train for marathons, we had no clue about what was required. We turned to those in authority, who had run numerous marathons and read their advice, in hopes of finishing the race. The author’s wisdom was for our benefit.

In Matthew 28:18, Jesus says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” His authority becomes our authority. Jesus’ power to influence becomes our power to influence.

Now that I know authority is to humbly serve others, I want to embrace the authority God has given to me.

“The authority by which the Christian leader leads is not power, but love, not force but example... Leaders have power, but power is safe only in the hands of those who humble themselves to serve.”

John Stott

Relevant Reflection:

In what ways do you walk in your God-given authority and how have you held back?

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