You have given him rule over the works of your hands. (Psalm 8:7)
Dominion. Rule. Authority. We can all be a little uneasy with these ideas today. The idea of someone having authority over us can seem negative. We love our freedom, and there are too many examples of the way leaders have abused their power. Our uneasiness can extend to how we feel about God, the ultimate authority figure.
But God doesn't dominate or manipulate. That's not how He exercises authority. He rules in love. Yes, He is all-powerful and has the final say over right and wrong, over life and death. But He wants nothing more than for us to be with Him forever. His laws are there to lead us on the path toward Him, not trap us or condemn us. Authority properly exercised looks more like a loving parent training his child or a caretaker tending to a garden.
Today's psalm tells us that God has given us authority as well. So how are we supposed to exercise it?
First, look within. Your primary zone of authority is over yourself. You can exercise dominion over your eyes by evaluating the things you see according to God's standards: movies, advertising, the people around you, even the created world. You take authority over your ears by taking time to listen respectfully to other people. And you take authority over your thoughts by uprooting the subtle ways you may judge or manipulate another person.
Next, look outward. You have a vocation, a calling in life, that gives you authority in certain relationships. If you're married, you have the mutual submission between spouses. If you have children, you have responsibility for their growth and development. You may be a manager at work or be involved in a ministry in your parish. In all of these roles God calls you to serve and nurture, not to dominate. Spouses lead each other in holiness. Parents strive patiently and lovingly to form their children in holiness. Co-workers set an example of caring cooperation.
In the end, authority is not about being 'above' someone else. It's about serving and laying down our lives – just as Jesus has done for us!
"Father, open my eyes to Your loving authority. Help me to imitate You in all of my relationships."
Reprinted with permission of The Word Among Us, 9639 Dr Perry Rd #126, Ijamsville, MD 21754, www.wau.org. 1-800-775-9673
( Matthew 5:9)
O sweet and holy Jesus You are the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords and the Prince of Peace. Most Merciful Saviour, bring much needed peace to all troubled parts of the World, where hatred and violence, rage and the fear of war spurs despair among mankind May the leaders of nations make wise choices based on the common good of humanity rather than decisions based on prideful and political displays of power. May dialogue and understanding overcome the deep seated wounds of groups pitted against one another by anger and distrust. In Your loving kindness grant comfort to the displaced, healing to the wounded and mercy to all those who have lost their lives Please protect all of those in harm's way and allow justice and peace to reign together. May the voice of Your Church continue to boldly proclaim the Gospel of Peace, for You told us, "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God."
|I pray for hope. I need hope for a better future. I need hope for a better life. I need hope for love and kindness. Some say that the sky is at its darkest just before the light. I pray that this is true, for all seems dark. I need Your light, Lord, in every way. I pray to be filled with Your light from head to toe, to bask in Your glory. To know that all is right in the world, as You have planned, and as You want it to be. Help me to walk in Your light, and live my life in faith and glory. In Your name I pray. Amen|
|Music: Holy Holy Holy
This page last updated February 28, 2017