Thursday, January 18, 2018

Agency vs Authority

Whenever I have any trouble with a Primary lesson, particularly when I feel like I'm, losing focus, I scroll back up to the beginning of the lesson and reread the lesson's purpose, which, in this lesson's case, is "To help the children understand the importance of using their agency to choose and act for themselves."

This is an important principle, one that even many adults still need to learn. So often, we let people other than ourselves make our decisions for us. Sometimes, we think it's necessary. After all, if your boss or your parents or your government or your spiritual leaders tell you to do something, then you have to, don't you? For some people, the response is almost automatic. We consider it so important to respect the authority of others that we sometimes don't even consider our own authority over ourselves. Satan is not the only being to whom we must not surrender our agency.

Now, I'm not saying that, to exercise our agency, we need to be rebellious. I'm saying that we need to be conscious. We need to take others' counsel, commandments, and orders into consideration and then decide for ourselves what we will do. If we decide to trust and obey others, that's fine. Sometimes, that can be very wise. However, it should be a conscious and deliberate decision, not an automatic one. We shouldn't just do whatever a person tells us to do, just because they told us to do it, even if that person is God. He respects our agency more than that, and so should we.

We are all free to choose and act for ourselves. That freedom is possibly the greatest gift that God has ever given us. We shouldn't let it go to waste or give it away to anyone else. We should reserve the right to make decisions  for ourselves, no matter who tells us what we should or must or ought to do. God will give us commandments, the government will give us laws, our bosses will give us orders, and our parents will give us rules, but we are the ones who have the ultimate authority over ourselves. We decide what we do. And that is a decision that we should never let anyone make for us.

1 comment:

Barbara Robarts said...

"we need to be conscious" I like that. We also need to remember that we can and should choose our actions, but we usually cannot choose the consequences. We cannot say "I want to eat a quart of chocolate ice cream while watching TV every day AND be skinny." For most of us, that won't work. We should examine what we know about the consequences before we decide what to do.