Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Delegating Authority

Delegating Authority
Barbara Henderson

An effective leader is able to delegate authority.  He/she puts a competent person in charge of part of a project or an entire project; steps back; and lets that person do his/her job without interference.  If authority was delegated to a competent person then things go well.  If the person is incompetent, the project does not run smoothly.

No matter what our personal position in work, family, and friends, we all have some level of authority over those under us and some level of accountability to those above us.  We have to learn to obey authority without complaining or attempting to force our will on our boss!  I know that sounds ridiculous, but that is often the case.  Rebellious employees don’t want to do their job.  They don’t want to follow instructions.  They push every limit of authority and boundaries because they really want to usurp authority.  They want to dispose the boss and take over.  They really are unprofitable employees.  Everyone actually must learn to delegate authority.  There is nothing more frustrating than being given a job and having someone constantly looking over your shoulder and making changes for the sake of changes.  Christians also need to remember they are to do a good job whether their supervisor is watching or not because God is watching.

Every Christian has an ultimate authority figure – which is Jesus Christ.  He is the supervisor, financier, and owner of everything and everyone.  He is utterly and continually righteous, trustworthy, and able to do exceeding abundant above all that we think or ask.  This is wonderful news.  The down side is that very often God has rebellious workers.  They don’t want to do the job they have been given.  They worry about how well He is going to manage the project of their personal lives and the entire earth.  God has the authority and power to do what He wants to do and what He knows needs to be done.  That is the good news.  The bad news is that the earth is filled with little usurpers.  They want to run the project however seems good to them.  Christians need to sit down and consider what is going on in their lives.  God is able. God is willing.  God actually has the authority and power to do a good job.  Before an individual Christian can be effective in whatever job or task they are given, they must first acknowledge God’s authority and ability.  We have to delegate the authority to run the show back to God.  It is called surrender.  Ultimately God has that authority anyway, but if we are not working in harmony with our Heavenly Father, then things are not going to go smoothly.  Christians don’t want to be the rebellious employee constantly challenging the Savior/Supervisor. 

A wonderful thing about delegating the authority to run your life, your family, your job, and your country to God is that He knows what He is doing.  He doesn’t make mistakes.  His love is unfailing.  When we have authority to make decisions there is often an element of anxiety regarding the outcome, the path chosen, the amount spent, the people involved, and many other things.  We can only do the best we can do with the information and abilities that we have.  No matter how well prepared we are for the situation at hand, we cannot guarantee the outcome of any given situation wither it is something minor or major.  But, if we have put the outcome in God’s hands we can be confident that He is working things out for good.  As Christians we should be action oriented instead of outcome oriented.   Doing the best we can do is all we can do. The outcome is in God’s hands.  Delegating authority to Him in the first place makes life much simpler. 

God, like good earthly supervisors, delegates authority to His children as they progress in dependability.  Some have authority over only themselves.  They have to learn to keep their own bodies in obedience to God’s commandments and instructions.  Others have a little authority over others part of the time.  Parents have authority over children.  Supervisors have authority over a few people.  CEO’s have authority over an entire company.  But even they are subject to God’s authority.  The problem arises when someone is not satisfied with the level of authority they actually have. 

I do want to point out something very important at this point.  If you cannot be content with the job(s) and level of authority that you currently have, you will not be content when you get a better job that you want.  More authority will also not satisfy you.  There was one being created just lower than God.  He wasn’t content.  He rebelled.  His name was Lucifer – Son of the Morning.  He led the most famous rebellion in history – the cosmic rebellion against the Most High God.  He is the example of the being who had everything possible in all of creation and still was not content.   So, if you cannot be content with where you are then you will not be content even though you get promoted to Lucifer’s former position.  And you can’t be content where you are until you delegate authority to plan your future on God’s timeline.  It’s called surrender.  It’s like the old song ‘I Surrender All – All to Thee my Blessed Savior – I surrender all.’

Delegating full authority over your life to God is not the same thing as giving up and living hopelessly somewhere in a time, place, and economic or social level that is not pleasant.  It is not to make light of difficulties or even tragic events you are facing.  It is about finding the joy of the moment.  I know some situations are so dire that we can’t really comprehend finding any joy in the moment.  The Bible example of Paul and Silas singing praises to God after being beaten and locked up in a dungeon is something to contemplate when facing difficulties.  All you can say is God helped them, and He will help you.  The poor men could have thrown a great pity party and griped at God about their circumstances until they died in prison.  I know they must have made a conscience decision to let God take care of them however He saw fit.  They possibly were thinking, ‘Well – God will either deliver us physically and we can go on to preach another day – OR – they will kill us and all our earthly cares will be over for ever.’  I don’t know what they were thinking.  But, we do know what they did.  They acknowledged God’s sovereignty over the situation.  The mentally gave God authority to work it out however He willed. 

Success factors for Christians include:
Surrender of authority over one’s life to God
Self-disciplining one’s own thoughts and body to live in obedience to God’s instructions
Diligent care to do a good job in every level of authority
To not usurp authority belonging to another (even the boss from you know where).

For more articles by Barbara Henderson visit Barbara’s blog ‘Everyday Christianity with Barbara Henderson. 

Books by Barbara Henderson available on Kindle

My favorite book to write was 'Oh Worship the King' - a story of a manuscript found in modern day Iraq written by eye witnesses to the life of Jesus Christ.

'Everyday Prepping for Beginners' is a non fiction book that was also fun to write.  It is written from a Christian world view - which offended some anti-Christians who left some very negative reviews regarding the Christian content of the first few chapters - which deal with self-definition, self-discipline, and self-reliance from a Christian view point.  The rest of the books is just simple preparedness help.  If you read the book I would really appreciate a kind review.    Thank you.