Threats, authority, and joyful obedience

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Because I said so! That’s not a compelling reason to obey. It might be legitimate and even justified, but it’s not going to move someone from obligatory compliance to joyful submission.

John Piper said, “There are ways to submit to God that only make him look threatening, not thrilling. There are ways to do what he says that only call attention to the fact that he is an authority, not a treasure. That kind of service is not the service God commands.”

How do we model our Lord by migrating from a threat-authority paradigm to an acceptable alternative?

Five ways. The five R’s if you will…

  1. Reserve authority for stopping what shouldn’t be done instead of demanding what should be done.
  2. Remove the barriers that make communication with you a privilege instead of an invitation.
  3. Reason with people who work for you so that the instruction is clear and makes sense to them.
  4. Reject the idea that delegated authority entitles you to disregard the feelings of someone who works for you.
  5. Replace any sense of arbitrary demand with deliberate objectives that anyone would agree are worth pursuing.

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