Boss of Me

You are not the boss of me. I first heard that from a teenager. Since then I have heard teenagers, professionals, family members, and even myself say those words. We may enunciate it differently, but the essence is the same. We don’t like anyone to tell us what to do. This is a particularly powerful concept in my life.

For years, I have avoided disciplines I know are healthy and choices I knew were best because I didn’t want anyone being the boss of me. Not even myself. Mother used to say I was an expert in spite. “You would cut off your own nose to spite your face, wouldn’t you,” she often said. She was right. Discipline requires us to relinquish control and most of us don’t care for that.

Webster says the word discipline means “control gained by enforcing obedience or order. At my age, it can now mean “make changes or you will die.” So how do I be the boss of me?

I can’t. As hard as I try, I can’t win. I am powerless to overcome temptation, hopeless at choosing the good I know I should choose, and particularly gifted at justifying the things I know I shouldn’t do. So what can we do? Scripture suggests we not serve a boss but instead embrace a Lord.

Somehow, Lord does seem like a better word than boss. Boss is defined as a person who exercises control or authority, whereas Lord is a ruler by hereditary right or preeminence to who service and obedience are due. If we look to God only as our boss, One Who wields a weapon of influence with consequences for failure; our attempts to rein in the flesh are pointless and doomed.

Instead, when God is viewed as the One Who deserves our allegiance because of Who He is, the battle changes. And then add the fact that His mission is to glorify Himself through seeing to it that we are most satisfied. Well everything changes, doesn’t it? He’s not holding out on us. He’s not waiting for us to mess up so He can squash us with His omnipotent swatter. He’s not even ready to fire us for insubordination.

Forget who’s boss is my advice to myself. A boss can enter and demand but a Lord loves. One look from Him and I melt, my Lord and my God.

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