Oh no! I’m not telling you to shut up! Seriously not… I may tell someone to keep quiet but not shut up as I think that’s simply rude. However a friend of mine introduced me to ‘Shut App’.
For those of you like me who haven’t heard of it till now, well it’s an app that tells things to shut up literally.. Ok, not literally I guess but it makes applications that are running in the background and use up data and battery power. Yes, I think it’s awesome. Often it pops up saying how much of battery is being used and how many apps are running in the background.
But.. capital B-U-T for that matter and let’s make it bold too.. I guess that’s enough of emphasis! But you get the point right. This little circle bounces it’s way in the middle of whatever it is I’m typing.. It plonks itself next to the rotate icon in the word game Wordament that I love playing. Often while in the middle of the timer speeding away and I hit the rotation icon without looking at it. And suddenly I’m out of the game and most likely it would be at a time when I’m engrossed in a game where I could get an extremely high score too.
Posting something on Instagram often becomes such a challenge with this silly brown circle butting in just where the hash tag pop up box appears and I often click on the circle by accident. Argghhh suddenly I have lost all my hard work of posting as I’m booted out of the window and shut app monopolises the situation. Sadly it isn’t a human being where I can talk sense to it and all I wish I can say – no SCREAM – is SHUT APP to you! My fingers itch to go and delete the app wondering if it’s truly worth having that making my life miserable, spoiling my little game achievements that give me a boost each day or having to go through the rigmarole of posting on instagram! What was supposed to be helpful can be pretty irritating to say the least.
In such situations, the big smiley face with the message ‘no apps running in the background’ to me then becomes a smiling face looking at me with a smirk of satisfaction that it has got its way – whether that actually works for me or not, it doesn’t matter!
I was thinking authority is like this often. Where new Christians should be fed and led, or where a parent should train a child in the way it (as in the child) should go, authority often steps in and instead of helping clean out their ways by drawing them closer to God, authority often steps in and makes all the decisions and carry it out instead. Yes authority often becomes authoritarian – it’s a finneeeeeee line – and over rules, over powers and in the process makes robots out of them.
A way a child should go is not what the parents decide for the child but rather what God would want for the child as God sees the bigger picture. Likewise with a believer – the one in authority needs to disciple and send out, not keep them under their wings forever saying, ‘yes sir, yes sir’. Accountability is not one obeying what is told by authority (that’s authoritarianism actually) but rather accountability is about authority guiding and helping the person to get into intimate relationship with God and to walk in the role and gifting God has called that person SPECIFICALLY for.
Often people in authority decide what they want a person to do or not do – and they make sure that these people do what they want to do. They clean up the activities of the people in a way they deem appropriate and nothing stops them. In the process often they place an ear into an eye socket! What good will it do? Not only will the eye socket not be functional with an ear there – what ought to be seeing can’t see but even the ear that is meant to do the hearing can’t listen either plonked into the eye socket. This is what the authoritarians do – they make decisions and shuffle according to their decisions – which isn’t the way God intended the callings let alone His purpose.
Is it of any wonder then, that Paul writes,
Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy,let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; 7 or ministry, let us use it inour ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; 8 he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness – Romans 12:6-8 NKJV
LET US USE THEM.. The older NIV version if I remember correctly translated this as, ‘let him use it’. Often people don’t use their gift let alone seek God and discern what their gift(s) are. Then in the case of authoritarian leadership, they prohibit or lord it over the people and block them from operating in that gift. Well, they may get away with their power now but that’s for a time and a season as God will certainly deal with them on judgment day.
However, having said that, if God has bestowed a gift and the person has surrendered to God’s perfect will, no authoritarian can stand in the way.
An authoritarian leader may cause ‘delay’ but cannot stand in the way of God’s perfect plan no matter how hard they try.
If they knew God they wouldn’t stand in the way either but follow the example that Jesus set. Jesus spent time = or rather properly describing that – SHARED LIFE with His disciples for THREE years. He then sent them out as sheep amidst wolves. Were they perfect? No, far from it. Did they backslide – yes they were scattered but they came back and stood firm and strong. Peter was called the rock even before he fell along the wayside. Jesus didn’t molly cuddle the disciples, He didn’t keep them with Him after the training period. Not only did He send them out, just before He ascended to His rightful place, Jesus gave them the commission: Matthew 28:19-20
Whatever Jesus had taught them, He wanted them to do likewise to make disciples.. Jesus didn’t lord it over them, Jesus didn’t make robots, He made disciples. He didn’t try to change the personalities or callings of each person but He maintained the UNIQUENESS for each person..
Likewise God doesn’t force His will upon us but He gives us choices instead, He gives us free will. Paul writes in his epistles that all things are permissible but not all things are beneficial. God allows all things if we insist or demand or choose so, however if we love Him, we will seek His will for what is PERFECT and PLEASING for each person.
Believers who worship God in Spirit AND in truth will love God with all their heart,soul, strength and mind.. and thus they surrender their earthly wisdom desiring what He desires for us. Likewise they will love their neighbour as themselves – which means they will love their neighbour desiring them to also desire what God wants for them in particular.
- What are you seeking – your empire or God’s Kingdom?
- What do your words say and what do your actions show?
- Are you being a Shut APP so much that the people would itch to be shut app to you instead or are you being a Kingdom builder allowing each app to be fully functional as God intended it to be -in His perfect way!