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  • Writer's pictureLaura Kae

Anointed: who am I to destroy whom God has appointed?

“Submission does not just mean that you are lower than him; it just means that you duck so that God can hit your husband.” My Monday morning has started off well with Beth Moore quoting Tony Evans. No, I do not have a husband, but that is funny! and oddly remotely related to the topic of today’s blog.

Two weeks ago I was asked an amazing question by one of my spiritual mentors. After about an hour of talking, he asked me to compare two people in my life and my relationship with them. What was similar and what was different? One of the people was from the time in my life when I was God’s child doing my best to run away from giving Him my full attention. I was pretty miserable back then. In retrospect, it does not really work to decide to wait to serve God until later – after I have lived a successful life doing the things I want. Such a decision makes me entirely miserable.

My mentor asked me not to answer the question right then. Rather I should think about it and carefully compare the two. I struggle with keeping my opinions to myself, so he barely had time to finish giving me the assignment, when I told him exactly what I thought. “They both….” and I filled one or two minutes with all the negative traits I was sure both of these people had in common.

I promised I would continue to think about it, and we parted ways. Now I could not possibly be a part of Celebrate Recovery for almost three years and not know that there is no point in pointing fingers. What was my part? It took me about ten minutes to cool down and mentally get myself to a somewhat objective place. Then I asked myself, “Okay, so who cares about them, what’s the same in my response to both of these people?”

Then I gave a knee-jerk answer to my question, and I stood appalled at my own wickedness. I spent the next couple days appalled by it. No, I am not going to tell you what my response was. Neither am I going to tell you the names of those people! But I will tell you this: How dare I destroy whom God has appointed?

Over the last few weeks I have continued to think about my relationship with authority. I have also thought about people’s response to authority in general and random responses of people in the Bible.

It seems to me I am not alone in struggling to have a healthy relationship with authority. Personally I seem to have two unhealthy responses. I put the authority figure (celebrity, boss, academic mind, pastor) on a pedestal and proceed to worship them, or I rebel and rip them to shreds. The latter does not always take place in a public setting; actually neither does the former. Sometimes it only takes place in my head and heart.

I wish I could tell you that in the last two weeks I have mastered a healthy relationship with the authority figures in my life. But if I did, first you would have a good laugh and second I am sitting here trying to figure out what a healthy relationship with authority would even look like! I am sure I have never experienced it. At least not with a human. I would like to think occasionally for a few brief seconds my heart is nearly pure and somewhat relatively close to being in total submission to God. The good part about God is complete and perfect submission to Him does mean complete and perfect worship also. Thankfully I do not have to try to not set Him on a pedestal. I am supposed to worship Him.

But as for people, some days I struggle to even be a little teachable by authority figures. A few weeks ago, God had me sit through a message on spiritual mentors twice. I was sure there was no reason to do so, but God seemed to be sure there was a reason to do so. Rather than go spend the time I had planned alone with Him on the pier, He thought I ought to re-attend “church”. I grudgingly complied (clearly this was not one of the moments in my life where I was even relatively close to submitting to God in a healthy way.) So I sat through the message, and it is one of those things that will not go away. It keeps being there, and I keep being nervous.

I do not like letting people speak all that much into my life on a one-on-one basis. I have trust issues. What if they just think I am weird? Or look at my life and decide I am beyond all hope? I was raised in a culture where the “pastors” more or less entirely decided whether I was good enough to make it into heaven or even take communion. Yeah, I have trust issues with anything remotely close to spiritual authority and leadership. I think some part of me is still afraid my people now are going to discover who I really am on the inside, then they are going to usher me to the door, and say something like, “Get out!!!” or in a nice hushed voice, “If you go quietly, nobody will notice.”

Now I am imagining that scenario in my head, and it is ludicrous to imagine the people around me doing that. It is entirely ludicrous to imagine any of the people in my life here treating anyone like that! But I think sometimes my heart is confused. My heart forgets to forget the past and press on to the future. My heart remembers the pain and braces against future pain. It does things like build walls and be unteachable to try to prevent others from being able to hurt it ever again.

It does things like point the finger and fluently describe what is wrong with everyone else involved. Me, what? I am the one who does no wrong. Look at those people!

Since the question by my mentor, I have returned to him with my knee-jerk reaction and the extended breakdown of that answer. I have hashed it over with my counselor. I suppose I have demonstrated trust and teachability with a few authority-type figures in my life.

One of the conclusions: Yeah, I am so an NT (personality on the Myers-Briggs test). Most times I think I am smarter and know more than most other people, which really is not godly even if it is in my natural personality. Yesterday I even got in a conversation with God where I discovered I was literally trying to take God’s honor from Him in that moment. Yup, it is not okay to try to be God or receive His worship no matter what my personality is. I need to bow the knee.

Maybe someday I will also learn to submit to the human authority in my life in a healthy way. If for no other reason, so that when I duck, God hits them! :)

Do you struggle to submit to authority, or are you currently placing an authority figure in your life on a pedestal? How is your relationship with the human authority in your life different from your relationship with God’s authority? How is it alike?

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