Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Who is in the Driver's Seat?

The Israelites said to Gideon, "Rule over us—you, your son and your grandson—because you have saved us out of the hand of Midian."

But Gideon told them, "I will not rule over you, nor will my son rule over you. The LORD will rule over you." Judges 8: 22-23

This is a really interesting passage to me. It relates to today’s reading because after Gideon died, one of his sons decided that he should rule over Israel. What happened as a result was a mixture of murder, mayhem, chaos, and disaster.

What I am learning as I read Judges is that the judges made it a point to not rule over Israel. Rather they were people of purpose. Each judge rose out of a desperate need. Gideon for example broke Israel out of the bondage of the Midianites. He didn’t even want to do the job but in the end he fulfilled his purpose.

So you might be wondering… who cares and what does this have to do with me? Well the thing that I take from this is that we each have a responsibility to ourselves, to God and to our purpose. There is power in this notion. It means that we each can do something in our own way to change the world around us.

We are each the authors of our own destiny.

When we give too much power to another person bad things tend to happen. At a very basic level most of us think first in terms of our own self interest. So when you give up your power to another person, they aren’t naturally inclined to do what is best for you. This is when relationships get unhealthy.

I’m sure this is pretty familiar. Have you seen a friend or a loved one in a relationship like this? Perhaps you have experienced this yourself. It is one of those relationships where one person has surrendered control of their life to another person. Generally when this happens the person with power takes advantage of the person who had given up their power.

Even if the abuse of power isn’t tangibly visible, at the very least the person who has given up control of their life is literally lost. We all have a path to follow. But what happens when you start following someone else’s path? It’s pretty safe to say that following someone else isn’t the path to your purpose.

So when it comes to the decisions that you have to make, the paths you take and the moves you make… don’t let another man or woman sit in the driver’s seat.

It may seem like they know where they are going, but it’s probably not where you should be headed.

Today’s Reading: Judges 9-10; Luke 5:17-39

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