August 19, 2021

Is it okay to question authority?

In today’s culture, there’s a growing trend of questioning authority figures. We don’t want anyone to tell us what we should do. Why can’t we just do what we want? But what if there’s something to being tethered to a community, trusting the authority God has placed over you, and staying committed even when things are hard?

Take a listen as Whit and Adam dive into these ideas!

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A rebel without a cause

There’s something about rebelling that is so attractive. Maybe it’s been rooted in our Western culture since the Revolution and maybe 90’s grunge and Kurt Cobain made it more appealing to you. Whatever it is, something in all of us says, “Don’t trust authority.” Something in all of us desires to stick it to “the man” … especially when “the man” is a jerk.

You might be saying, “I can tell you what that something is! It’s corrupt leaders.” And honestly, you’re probably right. But, even the perfect leader—Jesus—was questioned.

AT THE ROOT OF FEAR IS AN OPPORTUNITY TO TRUST GOD.

Jesus had 12 followers, 2 of them had some complaints—Judas and Peter. Judas would eventually make the decision to rebel against Jesus by giving Him away to religious leaders. And Peter he would deny Jesus 3 times, but before that, he also would rebuke Jesus for sharing the plan of God (Mark 8:32).  Peter and Judas had some rebellion but they were rooted in human concerns. And that’s how most rebellion begins, with a concern. Like Peter and Judas, for most of us, the root of our rejection to authority is a concern, and at the root of that concern is fear, and at the root of that fear is an opportunity to trust God.

Do you have a concern coming to mind while reading this? Good! Don’t push it away. Examine it. Find it’s root.

Is there any benefit to staying?

We’re glad you asked. Yes, there is. But it may be different than what you were thinking.

Over the years, it’s become more and more acceptable to leave at the first sign of tension or pain—to get a divorce, to quit the job, or leave the church. There’s a lot of options out there, so why would we stay in a place with tension? (Like we noted in the Peter and Judas example) Because tension is everywhere.

What if the better version of what we’re looking for (relationships, jobs, church, etc.) can’t be found in the “next great thing”, but can only be found by going deeper where we’re currently at.

If you run from pain, tension, or disagreements, you will be running your whole life. You might be thinking, “Okay, but running isn’t all that bad. I get new experiences.” And you’re right, leaving when it’s time to leave is good. However, leaving when you should stay, robs you of some pretty incredible benefits.

1. Staying when it hurts shapes you.

When we deal with difficult authority figures or people in general, the last thing we want to do is to stay for their benefit. And honestly, that’s okay. Stay for your benefit.

It’s not groundbreaking information to say that perseverance builds character. In fact, we’re pretty sure every sports movie ever filmed was made to portray that point. But it is true. It’s true for running and athleticism as much as it’s true for art, music, relationships, careers, and school. Staying, even when it hurts shapes you.

Ask yourself: What kind of character do I want to have? List our 6-8 characteristics and see if any of them have been developed in the place you’re in.

2. Sticking with it develops your trust in God.

When you’re in a situation where you don’t know the solution, you don’t know how to move forward, or you’re confused about what’s next, you know what you have to do? You have to rely on God, and that’s good for you.

If you have the answer to every question, the solution to every problem, and the skill to fix it, you (and everyone else around you) can just rely on you. No need to build a reliance or trust in God. One of the best things for your walk with Jesus is to trust His voice even when you’re completely unsure.

Ask yourself: How can I trust God more?

3. Working through disagreements tethers you to a community.

Don’t underestimate the power of working through a disagreement with your community. You may not realize it or you may have never been able to put it into words, but mankind’s deepest desire is to be a part of a committed community.

YOU HAVE CREATED A SMALL SANCTUARY OF TRUST WITHIN THE JUNGLE OF UNPREDICTABILITY.

Lewis Smedes⁣, a Christian author and theologian, illustrates beautifully our desire for community.

“When you make a promise, you tie yourself to other persons by unseen fibers of loyalty. You agree to stick with the people you are stuck with. When everything else tells them they can count on nothing, they can count on you. When they do not have the faintest notion of what in the world is going on around them, they will know that you are going to be there with them. You have created a small sanctuary of trust within the jungle of unpredictability.”

When we run from disagreements, pain, or tensions, we rob ourselves of ever having a sanctuary of trust within a jungle of unpredictability.

Ask yourself: Where do I need to stay tethered regardless of my feelings?

 

Learn a little more about a committed community from Pastor Whit George.

Editors Note

In this episode, we are addressing nonviolent and non-psychologically damaging environments.  If you’re in a dangerous or abusive situation, you need to get safe first and foremost. Please use the resources below for help.

DVIS – Domestic Violence Intervention Services, Inc.
Family Safety Center
Oklahoma Safeline

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