Can a Christian Lose their Authority?
Jesus declared, "You shall receive power, after the Holy Spirit has come upon you."
There is absolutely no doubt in my mind that devout Christians possess a certain kind of influence. You see them on the school grounds, at work, in colleges and homes. When they move, they command a certain mysterious and desirable aura. You cannot specifically pinpoint it, but you know it when you see it. It is warm, it is safe and it is comfortable to be around.
I have been in meetings where everyone seems to wait on one unlikely candidate to make their view known. People can be going back and forth, but when this individual speaks, everyone calms down and pays particular attention. Not because they are in a position of power, but even leaders take note and treat them differently. Often, with careful choice of words whenever they need to reprimand them.
Christians are supposed to have influence. Positive influence. They are supposed to set tone of any moral dialogue, fairness, integrity and wisdom. They are supposed to bring sanity wherever there is confusion. The Bible says, we Christians are the salt of the World. We are supposed to promote justice, peace and reconciliation. We are supposed to lead the way in taking care of the orphans, the elderly and widows. We should take the lead in promoting tolerance for individuals who may hold different beliefs or values from us. To take care of those less advantaged in some way.
Every Christian have influence
Genuine and lasting influence is not something you can wear like a jacket, title or position. It is what you are. What people see, feel and sense about you. It is a combination of your overall personality and character. The values you hold and how you treat others. You can call yourself a Christian and do traditionally what society expects of you, but your influence goes beyond your mere activities.
Have you ever taken the time to study Christian leaders and observed why others seem to make a larger impact, while others flounder along. Yet the two leaders appear to read and preach from the same book? What makes the difference? I strongly believe that some answers lie in the following:
1. For one, authority comes from their position, while for the other; it comes from both position and personality. Personality is always stronger than position - people are attracted to those they like. This is beyond beauty or physical attraction, although these can contribute to a certain extent.
2. For one authority comes from following established rules, while for the other it is derived from their character. Integrity is what makes people trust you. Following rules does not make anyone trust you. Anyone can do that. What you do when there are no rules is what makes a difference.
3. For one authority is viewed as a personal achievement, while for the other, authority is seen as an avenue to serve others. People are generally self-centered. They want to see what is in there for them. So, the one who genuinely serves others ultimately becomes a favored leader.
4. For one, authority may come from pretending to love people, but only temporarily. People will soon find out your true colors. For the other, genuine love for people is what brings lasting authority. Moreover, people will remember what you did for them, no matter how long it takes.
Christians, therefore, can and do lose authority when their lives are no longer a reflection of Christ. For we are to emulate Christ in all we do and how we live our lives. As reflected in the two most important instructions given by Jesus – “you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, mind and strength; and; you shall love your neighbor as you love yourself.”
Nothing else gives you more influence than a genuine love for God and people.
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