Scripture gives us sober warnings about our global desire for autonomy and its ugly outworkings. Authorities who lust for their own autonomy rebel against God by the very act of lording their authority over those in their care. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble, and that applies to both parent and child, boss and employee, husband and wife, and pastor and church member. God's universal instruction is to "listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days" (Prov. 19:20).
Beware the authority that submits to no authority, and understand in that moment that your Venn diagram of godly authority structures gives you options. The answer to ungodly use of authority is not to dismiss all authority. If Proverbs is to be believed, we all need authoritative voices speaking into our lives, and it is wisdom for us to put away our lust for autonomy and embrace instruction from those God has given in His graciousness to guide us. No, the answer to ungodly authority is godly authority. Autonomous authorities are tools of Satan, but those who are submitted themselves are gifts from God for the good of the church.
Adapted from Wendy Alsup's blog, theologyforwomen.org. Wendy has authored three books including By His Wounds You are Healed: How the Message of Ephesians Transforms a Woman's Identity. She is also a wife, mom and college math teacher who loves ministering to women.
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