This past Sunday we discussed Luke 20:1-8 and the authority of Jesus Christ. And I menioned my less than masculine attachment to Nanny Jo and the television show, Super Nanny.
Authority can be a tough thing for us to swallow. We don’t necessarily enjoy being under the authority of someone else. The reality of our Christian journey, however, is that we must first admit our minuteness (both with respect to capabilities and wisdom) in comparison to God and then second submit to God, who is almighty and all-knowing . . . and good.
This past week Nanny Jo shared an illustration with a family that speaks to the nature of authority. She gave each family member a lemon and asked them to bite into it. Then she gave each of them a pinch of sugar and asked them to put it on their tongue. She then asked them to compare the experiences. Clearly the family responded that the lemon was bitter and difficult to handle. The sugar, however, was very sweet.
Nanny Jo then explained that although the lemon is bitter and the sugar is sweet, when put together they make perfect tasting lemonade. Her point was that sometimes authority (the discipline of parents in her case) can be tough and difficult to handle . . . while other times it can be soft and smooth. Both are required. Sure we prefer the soft and smooth, but unless we have the tough discipline too, we will never change. If we never have someone correct us, we will never learn.
God’s authority is both tough and smooth. Sometimes it is the gentle affirmation that we are doing well and that God wants us to stay the course. Other times, though, God is telling us to stop and turn around. He is firmly telling us to make a change. It takes both types of authority to make a faithful Christian . . . and it takes a person willing to acknowledge and respond to God’s authority.