1 TIMOTHY 1:3
“As I urged you upon my departure for Macedonia, remain on at Ephesus so that you may instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrines,”
In the over three decades I spent working in the Child Welfare field, one constant was teaching the direct care staff (the ones who lived with and supervised the children) that no matter what a child said or did, they were still the authority. Only I, their supervisor, could change that. But so many of them got into power struggles with the children and unknowingly relinquished their authority.
Paul is warning Timothy here. He tells him to “instruct certain men not to teach strange doctrine.” But that word “instruct” does not give us the full picture. The word means to give a command with all the authority that comes with that command. In other words, Paul was telling Timothy to take charge and command these individuals to stop teaching that stuff.
One of the joys of parenting is teaching our children to take charge of something. There are no natural born leaders. Leaders are developed and molded by others in their lives. We have the privilege as parents to mold our children into leaders. We get to impact, not only their lives, but the countless number of people they will influence one day.
Developing leaders is challenging because it involves allowing them to make mistakes. We learn from our mistakes. Your children will learn from their mistakes. The key is for you to be there to help them when they do. Help them see where they failed and how to avoid that the next time. Little Johnny may not appreciate it now, but he will later when he faces the exact same challenge and knows how to respond.
By whose authority do you act? Are you an authority figure? Just about everyone I know is in some aspect of life. You may not be the CEO of a company or a plant supervisor. But you may be a Sunday School teacher or an AWANA leader. Take your authority seriously. Allow the Lord to use you to lead others.
Make me into the kind of leader you want me to be. Give me the boldness to confront those who are leading wrongly. Let me show them how You want them to lead.