I have authority issues. I don’t like rules and I absolutely hate people telling me what to do. I don’t like rules and restrictions, ask my roommates, I do everything in my power to break rules that I think are stupid. I am not a rebel or a wild child, I just fail to see how rules or authority keep me safe or teach me anything. I don’t know when this started. I’d like to say around the time I was sixteen when my parents started to treat me like their friend and not their daughter. To this day, my mom calls me for advice, which is great; I love my relationship with my parents. However, I have taken that same friendship and transferred it over to almost every other authority figure in my life. When I was in high school, I saw my teachers as my friends; Cru staff at IU, I consider to be friends. I respect these people, I respect my parents, but I tend to think that my judgment for myself is better than the judgment of people who are older and wiser than me.
Not only does my distaste for authority transfer to people in my life, but as I’ve recently realized, I also transfer it to God. God will gently lead me towards one door and instead of opening it, I try all the wrong things first. I usually feel like the three year old throwing a temper tantrum, yelling, “I want to do it MY way”. Trusting God is hard, it’s especially hard because it means surrendering my control in a given situation. It means that He knows more than me; He sees the whole picture. I don’t. That’s humbling for this know-it-all to admit. I like to pretend that I know everything, I have a better answer than everyone else and that my opinion is the most important. Perhaps my authority issues are more pride issues, thinking that at all times I know what’s best for me. How silly does that sound, that I know what’s better for me than my Creator, who knows absolutely everything about me.
This summer I’ve been memorizing Philippians 2:1-11, and I’ve memorized through 2:6, verses 2:5 & 6 are “Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped”. That’s humility. Jesus was God, but made Himself a servant and “did not consider equality with God something to be grasped”. He knew that He could learn from serving others; As I grow in my walk with God, He wants me to remember that I don’t know everything. That people are in my life to teach me and grow me – I have to trust them, and trust what He is doing in their hearts and lives. So in full awareness of my authority issues, I pray that while keeping my eyes on Jesus, I can trust those who are older and wiser than me; that I can submit to the rules set for my protection, even if I think they are stupid, and know that God knows best. He wants me to grow, learn and prosper; this is not a painless journey, it is one of surrendering control, but it’s the next step towards Jesus. And as I sing in my favorite worship song, “I’ll stand my soul Lord, to You, surrendered – all I am is Yours”. In order for that to be true, I need to let go of my authority issues and trust that God is who He says He is and He works through the people in my life.