Location: New England, United States

Wednesday, April 27, 2005


"For God commanded, 'Honor your father and your mother', and, 'He who speaks evil of father or mother, let him surely die.' " Matthew 15:4 RSV

In my relationship with God, I have found that when he determines to teach you a new lesson, that lesson is like a beautifully cut diamond - there are so many facets - you can only see the brillance.

Several years ago, as a manager, I was experiencing some trouble with one of my employees. This woman had a definite problem with my authority, and she challenged me on a daily basis. Managing the department became exhausting. Every decision, every direction was publicly challenged by this woman. This situation continued for two years while I struggled to maintain peace in the department. The department became so stressful, that I would wake in the middle of the night heavy with worry. I prayed to God constantly and every time I prayed, God led me to the story of Joseph and how he submitted himself to everyone that God had placed over him.
Justified, I prayed that she would submit to my authority, but the situation continued.

Finally in what I imagine was exasperation, God led me to the story of David hiding from Saul. Then he opened my heart to show me how I was just as challenging with the authority God had placed over my life. I had been challenging my superior at work as well, and when I was not challenging her, I was speaking negatively about her decisions to others.

As if that was not enough, God opened Matthew 15:4 to me (quoted above). He revealed to me how I also complained continually about my mother and father to anyone who would listen. I saw that the work that needed to be done was not with my employee - but with me.

Over time and with prayer, I began to accept the authority of my parents. I started to honor them in my thinking and in my behavior. With this acceptance, I was able to slowly forgive them for the hurts of my childhood. I healed!

I actually went to my superior at work and apologized. Although she had no inkling about the depth of my resistance to her plans, I apologized for not always being "on the same page" as her.

When I completed this work, my challenging employee decided to leave our employment for another position. I was now free from the stress.

Leadership comes in many facets - just like a diamond. For instance, in the church we have the Minister who is our spiritual leader, but he is still subject to the business leaders of the church, the Deacons. The Deacons are subject to both the Minister and the Worship Leader for their spiritual growth. The Youth Minister is in charge of the youth of the church, but he is subject to the Minister and the Deacons.

No authority is absolute, except Jesus.


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