So what’s your take on authority? You for it? Or, as my Dad might occasionally say in his native Alabama tongue, “you agin’ it?”
I’ve found that people generally fall into two camps on authority. We either respond well to it, or we bristle against it. We comply or we rebel. We accept or we protest. We obey or we refuse. We heed or ignore.
I’ve also found that people’s response to authority as adults usually lines up pretty well with how they were raised. Maybe you were raised in one of those “modern” families where everyone gets a vote, everything is up for negotiations, and nothing is set in stone.
In my home of origin, when my parents said I had to fold all the clothes before I could go to a friends house, that meant I had to fold and put away all clothes before I walked out the door. When my parents asked me to vacuum the house, I knew I had to vacuum every room that had carpeting. And when they told me I needed to practice my piano before I left for school in the morning, I did it. Now that I think about it, I could have gotten out of piano practice and school with one swoop of disobedience. But, alas, I knew better.
My parents were in charge. I wasn’t.
I think that’s why I’m really pretty responsive to authority in my life even now as an adult. I generally (and I only use that word “generally” because I can’t claim to be perfect; but my compliance is pretty dead on) drive within the speed limit, respectfully meet deadlines set by my editors, comply with my editors’ edits, and throw my trash in the receptacle designated for trash. I’m a rules follower and I hate to get called down for using my cell phone when I’m not supposed to, getting in the wrong line at the grocery store or sitting in a seat designated for someone else.
You might think I’m just a scaredy cat or a goody two shoes or a perfectionist. I don’t think I qualify for any of those dubious titles. I think I was simply raised to respect authority.
And the greatest benefit of that upbringing is not that I avoid punishment or embarrassment. It’s not even that I’m a responsible citizen or a model employee.
The greatest benefit is that I find it very easy to respect God’s authority.
This morning I read in Luke 4:31-44 that when Jesus went to Capernaum in the beginning of His ministry in Galilee, the people were drawn to His…