Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Control (01/30/06)
TITLE: The One In Control
By Doug Laird
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Because control-oriented individuals believe that they always know what is “best” for everyone else, they will self-justify their domination over the free will of others. This may be done with the best of intentions, but being sincere does not exclude the possibility of being sincerely wrong.
There are times when those in positions of authority must exercise that authority without reservation, but there are other times when people must be afforded the freedom that they are entitled to and need in order for them to develop and express the person that they were created to be.
The fallen nature in Man is inherently opposed (Rom.8: 7) to all of the systems of authority and control that God (Rom.13: 1) has ordained. These include, but are not limited to the authority in governmental, labor, marital, parental, organizational, and social environments.
Submission to the authority that God has instituted, and not necessarily to the person in authority, is the issue that a disciple must acknowledge as no institution or relationship can endure or be what God intended it to be without the establishing of and submission to the system of authority that He has designed.
Government has its place, function, and responsibilities and the Church has its mission as defined in the Great Commission (Matt.28: 19, 20), but if either one, operating independently or in collaboration with the other, forces itself against the free will of those they are supposed to serve, then tyranny and oppression will inevitably be the result.
When those who are under the authority of others are not permitted the space and freedom that they are entitled to, then all those involved and the institutions they comprise inevitably suffer.
The Biblical roles of wives and mothers, as defined in Scripture, are supportive (1Cor. 11:9) and domestically oriented (Titus 2:4, 5), but this does not make them or their functions inferior or subject to abuse or neglect. It is a matter of setting the right set of priorities and taking care of first things first. Such restrictions do NOT apply to single women or to married women when functioning outside of the marital relationship.
Proverbs 31: 10-31 provide a Biblical balance of the functions, inside and outside of the home, and the freedom that a wife and mother should experience with the Old (Gen.3: 16) and New Testament commands to submit to the authority of the husband in ALL matters (Eph.5: 24).
Children (Eph. 6: 1), as long as they are living under the authority of the parents, are subject to the rules and regulations of the home, but they must be allowed to make decisions and take responsibility for the decisions they make so that they will have mastered such skills that they will need when they are out from under and on their own in the real world. Parents must avoid the pitfalls of trying to live or re-live their own lives through their children. They are here to identify and fulfill the purposes that God created THEM for.
It is not the parents, but God the Holy Spirit who makes the selection (1Cor. 12: 11) of the specific spiritual gift(s) that is given to each and every believer. It is by identifying and applying these individual gifts that determines the specific role(s) in life that each born again believer is called to. It is this perspective that gives our and their daily lives purpose, meaning, and definition and not the “success” as success is defined in the devil’s world.
Christians must develop the Biblical purpose, place, and limitations of the “control” that they are to have in the lives of other people.
By word and example, Christians are to have standards for THEMSELVES. When asked (1Pet. 3: 15), they are to share with others why it is they do (or don’t do) what they do, but they must also respect the privacy and the exercise of the God-given free will of others (Rom. 14: 4), except when exercising authority when and where it applies.
In the final analysis, we are all under the control of one of two primary sources of influence. When we are filled by and thereby live under the control of God the Holy Spirit, all other issues of control will self-resolve (Gal. 5: 16).
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