Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, “How can I help?” Romans 15:1-2 (The Message)
If we are hoping to see good in the world, we’ll catch glimpses of joy, beauty, and forgiveness. On the flip side, if view the world through a lens of cynicism and negativity, our eyes won’t be disappointed. We always find what we’re looking for. This principle holds true even in our handling of the Bible. When we look to God’s Word just to find God’s laws, we will often find loopholes.
Approaching Scripture with an agenda alters our perspective. Instead of searching for wisdom and guidance, our sole focus is looking for Scriptures that fit our agenda and justify our behavior. Our red pen is at our disposal to scratch out verses that are inconvenient, uncomfortable or require more than we are willing to give. We edit out the words we don’t like to soften up the commitment level. Rather than a sword we hold to battle the enemy (Ephesians 6:17), we can sometimes be guilty of using the Bible as a hammer to beat down anyone who disagrees with our point of view.
This internal focus on submitting to God’s authority has greater implications to those around us than we even realize. What we focus on gets our attention and what gets our attention impacts our heart. The condition of our heart doesn’t remain hidden; it will eventually get expressed. What is happening on the inside shows on the outside. If all our energy is spent on deciding what is best for our needs, our agenda and our comfort, others lose out and are hurt as a result.
We were never meant to live for ourselves. Scripture speaks to how the body of Christ is meant to build each other up, especially those closest to us like our families. The only way we will be transformed into Christ’s likeness is by relying on each other. The authority we’ve been given shouldn’t be used to grab power and oppress. Neither should we approach our families with the sole focus of making sure our needs are met. Authority wasn’t handed over to us so we could make much of ourselves or prop ourselves us.
We’ve been given authority to empower others and point them towards freedom. By trusting God’s authority, we are able to steward the authority we’ve been trusted with well. God’s love should be the driving force in our lives and our families because this is what God uses to bring His Kingdom to bear in this world.
- What are you doing with the authority you’ve been given?
God, all too often I make decisions based on my needs, my desires and what I feel is in my best interest. Help me to understand how my willingness to submit to Your authority impacts others. May I live under Your authority, trusting that by doing so You will transform my heart. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.