"Conflict with Authority"

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By: Autumn Sisk

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgiving be made for everyone, for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.” 1 Timothy 2:1 (NIV)

Have you ever had a coach or teacher that didn’t like you or that you just didn’t like? It happens to everyone. We all have different views and personalities, and at times this causes conflicts.

My friends called me a “suck-up” in school, because I respected my teachers and coaches and got along well with them. I always tried to listen in class, turn in my homework on time, and do what was asked of me.

In tenth grade, I was certain that I would like my new English teacher just as I had liked most of my teachers in school. After a few weeks in her class, however, I realized that she did not care at all for me. She didn’t seem to appreciate my efforts to be a good student. In fact, she seemed to completely loathe me. She picked on only me in class. I was a straight “A” student, and had never made a “B” in school, so when I received my research paper back with a huge red “F” on it, I cried.

I had worked on that paper for weeks and truly thought it was a good paper. My other friends who were mediocre students all received higher grades. I felt like it was a conspiracy against me. I tried talking to the teacher about it, but she was unhelpful and unkind. To this day, I have no idea what it was about me that she disliked so much.

Even though my faith in Christ was strong in high school, my reaction to this teacher was not good. Instead of trying to love her, I decided that she was a terrible person and that she was not worth my prayers. I did just the opposite of what Jesus calls us to do. In the Bible, we are urged to pray for “everyone,” especially those in “authority.” Even if we have conflicts with them, we are to pray for them because Jesus loves them. God wants His children to be able to live at peace, even with those who make our lives difficult.

If you’re having problems with an authority figure, take the time to pray for him or her. God has a way of changing your heart toward those for whom you pray. Once you begin praying for someone, your heart softens towards that person. You may even begin to like the person. Offering prayers for someone is the greatest gift you can give. I often wonder how things would have turned out if I had started praying for my tenth grade English teacher.

Don’t wait to start praying for those around you, particularly those with whom you are in conflict. It will make a world of difference!

Dear Lord, thank You for giving me Your Holy Bible as a learning tool and guide for my life. Right now, I want to ask You for your blessings on _______________________ (fill in the blank with the name of someone with whom you are having problems). Please help me to resolve my issues with this person and live at peace with him/her. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


Ponder: Romans 13:1-2, “Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.” (NIV)

Apply: Make a list of everyone with whom you are having difficulty in your life. Begin to pray for these people by name, each day for a week. You will likely see a change in your views of these people within a few days.

When your friends or others mention the people you have begun to pray for, be sure not to speak badly of them. Instead, make a point to only think and speak positively of them.

Read: Being a Girl Who Leads: Becoming a Leader by Following Christ, by Shannon Kubiak Primicerio

Share: Is there someone with whom you are really struggling with in your daily life? (Teacher, coach, parent, sibling)

© 2008, 2010 by Autumn Sisk. All rights reserved.

Autumn Sisk lives in Atlanta, Georgia and has been a competitive tennis player since high school. She enjoys leading a Bible study for teenage girls and wants to one day visit Jerusalem. She is addicted to watching and cheering for the Atlanta Braves and also loves watching the Disney channel on T.V. Her favorite Bible verse is Colossians 3:17 because knowing how much Jesus loves her inspires her to live her life for Him.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you so much for sharing this Autumn. Right now I am having problems with one of my teachers and needed some advice on what to do! Seeing it on a wesite I trust really helped me realize that God will take care of my troubles.God is awesome!

Blogger Lynn Cowell said...

Thanks so much for your honesty. We all struggle in this area from time to time; ok, at least I do! A couple of weeks ago, I was driving to the mountains, all excited for the beautiful weekend when I saw those swirling blue lights and the noise of the sirens. At that point, I didn't like policemen! (Come to find out, it was just a problem with my license plate :)
Thanks for sharing!

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