doctor sitting at his desk analyzing lab results

When I talk to pastors, doctors, and therapists, there are many awkward silences on my end during our conversations. I’m sure I give many awkward facial expressions. I can’t really help it.

Because I recognize that they are all business owners. And everything they do is part of a business. And it’s the very culture of those particular businesses to pretend like it’s not a business, but rather some self-evident authority.

I don’t pretend well. It’s pretty clear when someone holds a position of conditional authority and they are uncomfortable being challenged or questioned. As though doing so is a clear indication of serious character flaws. You can see the look on their faces (“This does not compute”) when you hear their logic and reasons and find those insufficient. 

I honor authority regardless of agreement: Mayor, police chief, senator, representative, governor, president, etc.

Those other types I mentioned, though, are all voluntary relationships, so the “authority” issue is fuzzier. You’re not necessarily anti-science because you question a doctor. You’re not necessarily rebellious because you question a pastor. You’re not necessarily in denial because you question a therapist.

You have a responsibility to discern whose care you place yourself under, and they are always at best assistants for the journey, not parents or lords.

I have respect for many people who refuse to follow traditions and popular opinions. But theses outsider-types don’t do themselves any favor either, really. They can be very self-promotional, self-aggrandizing, self-important, impossible to reason with, and unaccountable to anyone.

A broken clock still gets the time right twice a day right? So we don’t put anyone on a pedestal because they made one or two accurate predictions about the economy, the church, the government, or the community.

We look at the fruit. We look at the effect. As the cliche goes, people will forget what you say, but they’ll never forget how you make them feel.

Do people feel comforted in their presence? Encouraged? Strengthened? Hopeful? Determined?

Do people feel ashamed in their presence? Intimidated? Insignificant? Ignored?

These are just thoughts. I don’t have a book for you to buy or a course to sell or an authority figure to hate. lol.

You guys are pretty cool for putting up with this.

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