Saturday, May 26, 2007

We Need a Boss

3,000 years ago the demand from the people of Israel was give us a king. Samuel was upset because he thought they were rejecting him (a little self-absorbed) but God said no, they are rejecting me. It seems it is human nature for us to want someone to be over us.

We want a coach, a father, a mother, a captain, a foreman, a boss or a pastor. We want them to be exemplary in their jobs and we’re frustrated when we’re wiser or harder working than they are. Sometimes it feels like we can’t live with them and we can’t live without them.

We demand that our bosses treat us fairly, which of course means that I never get anything less than those I’m associated with. Remember presents at Christmas with siblings. If by chance I do get a little more, well… that’s ok to, just keep it quiet. Even when we say we want someone to watch over us, what we really mean is they can tell us what to do as long as we want to do it.

A simple example from church life is the percentage of people who tithe in a church where a pastor preaches tithing. (not a good teaching by the way but that shouldn’t matter if we are under his authority) Usually comes in at around 17% compliance. If you asked the other 83% if they needed to be under a pastor they would nod in the affirmative and be quite upset if you suggested that they didn't need a pastor.

Why do we struggle with forming a group of equals? It’s uncomfortable. It requires knowing and understanding each other. It says each one is necessary and can contribute to the life of the group. No more whining when things go wrong. We're responsible for each other.

A few years ago I was exploring native thought processes from days gone by. Survival was difficult and depended on everyone contributing to the group. How did they teach this groupthink to their children? When a nine year old boy was given the task of collecting firewood for the night there was an expectation that the task would be done. Little Jimmy thought shooting squirrels for the day was a better pastime than collecting the needed firewood. Come night time, 20 below zero seems really cold without a fire to warm your tootsies. What did the group do to the little rascal? Nothing. They went cold. They knew that if he didn’t recognize his value and responsibility for the group that eventually they would pay an even higher price.

How unlike us. We would rather yell, spank, avoid, cut off, deny allowance, bribe… Anything but let him know his real value and paying the price for him to learn it.

Why do we need a boss?
Why do we want our independence?
Why don’t we want to be part of a relational group?

Two possible answers.

1. We don't want to be responsible for ourselves or for others.

2. It is easier to do it ourselves or lead a group than to pay the price for others to mature.

1 comment:

Jamie A. Grant said...

Re: "...They can tell us what to do as long as we want to do it."

Ha! Perfectly said.