One of the big subjects I want to explore on this blog is Authority. It is, if taken in a certain way, the ultimate subject. The answer to “oh yeah, says who?!” makes all the difference.
Today, though, I want to just nibble on the edges. A little appetite whetting.
When I began following Jesus, I found some immediate freedom from some of the destructive behaviors that had plagued me. I also found myself with new constraints, new rules to govern my behavior.
Constraints are a good and healthy thing, if they are good and healthy, and you know they are good and healthy if they result in a you that is better than the unrestricted you.
For example, the constraints of marriage are good and right, and they lead to the kind of special freedom with your spouse that unrestricted casual encounters can only pretend to offer.
The direction of the Spirit of God is the ultimate healthy constraint.
The challenge I found as a new Christian was that I often interpreted Christianity as a new set of rules that I needed to impose on others, without appreciating that the main purpose of the rule of Jesus in my life was the extension of life and freedom in and through me. For freedom I was set free.
So, with respect to the question of authority, let me just say this for now:
Jesus gives you permission.
Jesus gives you permission to love others.
Jesus gives you permission to bear burdens.
Jesus gives you permission to make things better.
Jesus gives you permission to think and ask questions.
Jesus gives you permission to communicate the goodness of his rule.
Jesus gives you permission to be wrong and to be humble and to learn.