Thursday, August 23, 2007


The Lord has been teaching me about authority. Spiritual authority and natural authority. Being put in a position of authority over people whom you don't feel like you should have authority over, or, conversely, who don't feel like you should have authority over them, is uncomfortable.

Natural authority is harder than spiritual authority. Being in a relatively exalted position of authority has definitely taught me how to better be under authority. One big lesson I learned was, "Always report the first signs of diarrhea to your team leaders." It started out as a bit of comic relief (with an important lesson embedded) when one of the girls had to be hospitalized for dehydration, but has come to be a bit of comic relief with a bigger and bigger lesson.

Diarrhea (or "The Big D" as we referred to it with our team) is an uncomfortable topic, especially with the girls. No one really wants to talk about it, so it's easy to ignore. It's also something that starts as a small problem, with seemingly natural causes and a seemingly simple solution. This leads one to believe that it doesn't have to be reported, because one can take care of it oneself.

I started to notice that a lot of problems take the same course. They start small, they're often embarassing, and we usually think we can take care of them ourselves. When we keep it a secret, though, it usually gets worse and we end up - proverbially, of course - in a second world hospital with nurses who can't get an IV in our rapidly collapsing veins. We need accountability, and for those of us in ministry, we need to talk to our leaders every time we stumble. (I am now convinced that anyone in ministry needs to talk to their authority, not just an accountability partner.) We rationalize, "I'm not addicted to _____ (pornography, alcohol, cigarettes, lying, etc.), it was just once. I'll be fine." And then it's twice and then it's a problem.

So the lesson of the day is the same it's been in my circle for the past two weeks, "Always report the first signs of diarrea to your team leaders." You are under authority so that authority can help you, but if you wait four days you will become severely dehydrated and you and your team and your ministry will suffer for it.


Patrick Hoban said...

GREAT POST. It was funny, relevant and full of wisdom.

Jen said...

Funny, cause on my trip the girls (especially a certain pair of girls) talked about the 'big d' or 'big c' ...which ever the case was, quite openly and would come running with the, it was quite certainly a topic of discussion before going to bed, not to mention a lot of giggling was invovled!

And now being semi-serious, I like that stuff you had to stay on authority...there's some life application stuff you mentioned that I need to get moving on.