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The Social Pandemic – breaking the cycle

Notes: Parenting and Power Relationships Sunday, 28th February 2021

The viral pandemic comes in waves—as more people are exposed, the wave dies down. The social pandemic it has
precipitated will continue in cycles—the more people are affected, the more likely they are to perpetuate the cycle of
destruction. As important as it is to learn righteousness and humility in our peer-to-peer relationships, it is even more
important to deal with those we are in authority over with gentleness, righteousness, and humility.

Matthew 8:8-9
The centurion replied, “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. But just say the word, and my
servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, ‘Go,’ and he
goes; and that one, ‘Come,’ and he comes. I say to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

 

Three common distortions with power relationships:

1. WE’RE ON THE THRONE

We are all at risk of becoming absolute despots, ruling (parenting/bossing) as if it’s all for our sake. Our ‘Self Life’ loves to be served and to exert authority for its own good.

Over Name, throughout our lives, the Self stakes out its own territory within us to assure getting its own way,
ordering our world to its likings. It has embedded assumptions and privileges into our psyche; there is a
momentum to its desires, moves, and presence in us.
– John Eldridge, Get Your Life Back

 

But our authority is imputed by God, for His purposes, and not for our sake. We only have authority because it has been
imputed to us by God. Every authority on earth is under him and set up (authorised) by him. Jesus illustrates how we should
respond to this with his servant leadership.

John 13:14
Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.

This helps us with the second distortion as well…

 

2. THEY’RE ON THE THRONE

Jesus serves so that they may learn to serve others, too. We are not to enthrone our children, or parents for their sakes, but to
remember that our authority is from God for his purposes… to teach our children the ways of God. In the case of any
authority, the bible tells us it is given by God.

 

3. NO ONE’S ON THE THRONE

We abdicate authority because we get tired of struggling against our own will and the wills of the people ‘under’ us. But
because our authority is delegated we cannot neglect it. Even when we feel that we don’t measure up, we must not neglect
our duty.