Friday, April 13, 2012

Friday Reflections - April 13, 2012

This meditation from Henri Nouwen landed in my inbox earlier this week.  After a semester of wandering through questions about leadership, group work, and conflict, it struck me as carrying deep truth that I need to ponder moving forward.

Authority and Obedience 

Authority and obedience can never be divided, with some people having all the authority while others only have to obey.  This separation causes authoritarian behaviour on the one side and doormat behaviour on the other.  It perverts authority as well as obedience.  A person with great authority who has nobody to be obedient to is in great spiritual danger.  A very obedient person who has no authority over anyone is equally in danger.

Jesus spoke with great authority, but his whole life was complete obedience to his Father, and Jesus, who said to his Father, "Let it be as you, not I, would have it" (Matthew 26:39), has been given all authority in heaven and on earth (see Matthew 28:18).   Let us ask ourselves:  Do we live our authority in obedience and do we live our obedience with authority?