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Your Own Faith

Your Own Faith

14 November 2010

Today’s Reading: Psalm 35; 2 Corinthians 1-2

Scripture:

We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours. (2 Corinthians 1:24 MSG)

Paul, like Jesus, had a clear sense of the difference between authority and power. Paul understood that the legitimate and best use of spiritual authority is to influence others to make right choices. The least effective use of authority is to force others to yield through the use of power. Free will is violated and the results are short-term at best. I remember a quote I learned years ago – “A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still!”

Leading through gentle relational influence rather than forced positional power is slower and is often risky. The results of forceful use of positional power are immediate but usually temporary, but the fruit of right use of spiritual authority is eternal. We all ultimately stand by our own faith, not the faith of another.

Prayer:

Father, Thank you for those whose godly influence has helped shape my values and inform my decisions through the years. I purpose to value and to exercise the authority of influence more than the power of position. Help me to help others to stand by their own faith. Amen.

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