Bless Your Heart by Cindy Colley

Digging: About Ownership and Authority

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Some have asked for a little help with the last assignment on Month 1 of Authority. Although I am a little jealous (in a fun way) at those who are that far advanced already into the study, I’m going to try to give you an idea about what I was envisioning in this little challenge. I wanted us to think about how inherently and obviously God’s ownership of us implies authority. I’m hoping we can  develop a heart that understands and is convicted that His authority over us is complete and absolute. Since He is the Creator (from nothing) of our universe and He is  the purchaser (with the blood of His spotless Son) of us, he owns us twice. He really owns us. When one really owns something, He is in charge, complete control and He is the absolute authority over that something. Here’s the exact assignment: 

In a paragraph, connect the dots between ownership and authority, using some parallel from everyday life. Examples: “Why You Can’t Go through My Purse” or “The  Responsibility that Comes with Inheritance Upon the Death of a Parent” or “Why Your Mom Can’t Do your Homework for You”. All of these and any number of other titles can explain why ownership implies authority. 

Now here’s a sample response: 

         The Responsibility of an Executor Following the Death of a Family Member

Recently my father passed from this life to the next. He left a fairly detailed will regarding his possessions. It has been determined that his will is legal and binding in every respect. In that will, he assigned the responsibility of executor to me. He evenly divided his assets and his possessions among four children: my older brother, myself, and my two younger sisters. Thus, at the very point of His passing, those things became the possessions of four people rather than one. Each of the four of his children are equal in ownership of the assets and the belongings that once were owned by my dad. 

Ownership. It’s everything as relates to the spending of the money, the dispensing of the property or the removal of its contents. While I am the one, temporarily, who has the power to write checks to pay the remaining medical bills and the power bills, there are absolutely no decisions that I can unilaterally make, regarding what is done with the things that belonged to my father, because the ownership is only one-quarter my own.

Here’s a real-life example. Shortly after my father’s passing, a destructive tornado hit the town of Jacksonville where my father’s property is located, dislodging several members of the Jacksonville church. One of those families, whose homes were destroyed, asked me if we would be willing to make an arrangement whereby they might live in the house while their home was being rebuilt. Of course I wanted to facilitate that. But you’re already thinking about what I needed to do.

I needed to secure the permission of all of those to whom the property now belongs before finalizing any arrangement. That’s because the authority to make decisions regarding property comes with the ownership of said property. Every detail about the deal had to be approved by the owners, because authority lies in ownership. 

(I could have reasoned that I knew what the other family members would want me to do, just as we do about God when we say “I just think God would be okay with…”)

Another example:

Why I Had to Ask Permission

My father planted several little oak saplings on the property of the Jacksonville church about sixty years ago. He donated those trees and the labor in planting them to the church. Thus, in every respect, those trees belonged to the church. Over the years they grew into very large trees, one of which was completely uprooted in the tornado that struck the property of the church.

Because my father had recently died, and because having the wood from that tree would enable my husband to make some very sentimental things in his wood shop, I really wanted to have that tree cut up and brought to Huntsville, where I live. It was lying on the ground. It was going to be hauled off by FEMA. I just looked at the sad photo on facebook and wished for that tree.

But ownership implies authority. Every time. Before we could even think about hiring someone to cut that tree into logs or lifting it onto a truck and taking it to a sawmill, we had to get permission from the owners—those men who legally represent the church…because the church owned that tree.

(I could have reasoned that my intended use of the tree was just so beautiful. I could have reasoned that my getting that tree was a loving thing to do or that exactly how that lot got cleaned up after the storm was just a detail about which the owner would not even care or even notice.)

But ownership implies authority. God owns me because 1) He made me from nothing, and 2) He purchased me back with His Son’s blood when I had sinned. He holds supreme authority over my life and how it is managed. As we will learn later in the study, it’s also true about the church of Jesus. It is not mine to do with as I will. It belongs to the One Who bought it.

So there are a couple of examples of the response elicited by number 7 (only I didn’t notice it said a paragraph, so I went a little overboard). Here’s a simpler, shorter example:

The Authority of the Copyright Owner

My friend asked if she could reprint a chapter from one of my books. I referred her to the publisher of that book who owns the copyright. Since he is the owner, he alone has the authority to grant the right to reprint material. Ownership implies authority.

Be creative. Don’t worry about making your answer long or elaborate,  but be sure you make the simple point of authority in ownership. 

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