One of the reasons that accounts for the sufferings in the world, and I believe it is a major reason, is the misuse and under-use of authority. And this is also the reason why the death sentence of Jesus could pass through Pilate. The people knew well how to manipulate Pilate, just like how satan always attacks at our points of weakness.
Fear of losing a position of authority
Thus, to safeguard this position, compromises are being made. Giving in to the masses. Gaining approval rather than standing by righteousness. Afraid of making a stand, afraid to offend, fearing rejection, insecurities.
Lack of sound and solid values needed to make difficult decisions as one in authority
The greater the authority, the greater the responsibility. How often do we find unwise leaders. Leaders who are precisely fearful of losing their positions because their values are not sound to begin with. They are self-centred and thus, making their decisions wise to themselves but unwise to everyone else.
Being in authority and really thinking one is lord over all
Authority blown out of proportion. Unleashing the hidden evilness of a person, the insecurity now swings to the other extreme.
Look at our society today. Suffering is rampant - in the poor as well as in the rich, and in the average folks. Suffering known AND suffering UNknown.
The poor suffer from starvation, oppression. Made to feel lesser than a human being because of the more powerful. Governments are corrupted, reserving the best and the majority for themselves, leaving their people in a sorrowful plight. Authority given to them is misused for their own betterment rather than for the common good. Authority, like that of Pilate, given to them from above.
The poor are forced into cheap labour for their survival. By who? By the rich who refuse to share their wealth. Those in authority in huge multinational companies. Authority given to them is misused. They are the ones who can affect the poor most effectively but then, profit is key. They think they are the privileged ones, the blessed because they have more. But they do not see the curse because they have failed to be brother and sister to our Lord. They have no idea what awaits them.
The average folks I see around me like parents have gotten their sense of authority all upside down. Authority is given to parents to bring up their children, educate them in the way of truth and goodness. But instead, many parents now live under the authority of their children. One parent emailed me, "I wanted to speak to him (her son) about your feedback this morning but he wasn't in a good mood to talk to me." A child needs to be in a good mood before he speaks with his own mother? Authority given to parents is distorted because parents cannot afford the time and energy, parents are more insecure these days, and they need to constantly "win" the approval of their children. They fear most the truth that they are not doing enough and not doing what is right for their children. Parent-child relationships have become friendships as a result, and herein lies the complete distortion of rightful authority.
Without knowing, many are suffering. The educated, the rich, the middle class, ... we too are suffering, even though the type of suffering is not as explicit as those of the poor and sick. Lest we think we are the superior lot.
We suffer because with all these distortions of the truth, of what being in authority truly means, and underlying this, of what true love really is, we are deviating further and further away from the image and likeness of God. There canNOT be peace in our hearts, nor joy or fulfilment. Our souls are crying out for its Maker but it is too weak a cry amidst the many loud noises that surround us. We find it harder and harder to understand and believe in the love of God because we have redefined love to make God's love stupid, illogical and not applicable in today's world.
Greed, pride, individualism.
Being in authority spells better life for myself and family.
But intelligent as we are, we market ourselves to be in authority by using the big magnanimous name of the common good. We actually DO know what is needed to be done for the common good. But we have chosen not to carry out these promises when we have taken our seat as chairman, as president, etc.
In everyday lives, we too, no matter how small, are given authority. Our conscience, intellect and will have been given authority over our feelings too. Do we choose to act on impulse instead?
We have been given authority over our wealth. What do we do with this authority? Do we share or hog? Do we need a beggar to ring our door bells, ask for bread before we take it out to share or can we already hear the cry of the poor from afar in our borderless world? What do we spend on? Necessity or vanity?
We have been given authority over our lips. What do we say? Are we life-giving? Do we give Jesus to one another in what we say? Do we speak His language of love?
Authority over our eyes and ears. What do we choose to set our eyes on? What do we choose to listen to? Our hands and feet. Our feet can walk to church, to the casino, to the pubs. Our time. What do we do with our time? Own pleasures or to enrich ourselves and the lives of others?
There are people who are not given such authorities. Those who are blind, those lame and deaf to name a few. We who have must learn to exercise our authority responsibly as God has taught us to.
How are you exercising your authority given to you from above?
What are you doing with your authority?
16 July 2012, Monday