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Monday, January 20, 2014

The Paradox of Freedom

What does it mean to teach “with authority”? What was the nature and source of Jesus' authority? (Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, pp 1391-20).

Jesus spoke with authority for he deeply appreciated the irony and paradox that underlies life. With this perspective propagated, once latent truths can flame out suddenly with brilliance and authority. Several examples include the parable of the Good Samaritan, the rich man building storehouses for his wealth, the widow's mite, the sons who said one thing in terms of obedience but did another, the faith of a Roman soldier. Additionally, the story of the New Testament is replete with irony and paradox—the Savior born in a stable and dying on a criminal's cross and with final victory enabled by defeat.

Today we celebrate Martin Luther King, Jr. He too was a man who spoke with authority. Who can forget the tenor of his voice and the power of his words? He too appreciated the revelatory power of irony and paradox. A central lesson he taught was: "All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality." (See reference below.) Certainly this is a key paradox in human social life. For the ultimate object of close mutuality is to free the human spirit—especially that of the individual. For individuals to be truly free, they must exist in a tight matrix of social interdependency. Let's see how this works in a few simple examples. I am highly dependent upon the sanitation systems of my city. I would be a much less free—with significantly less free time—if I had to fetch my own water, dispose of my own feces and other wastes. Another example, as a youngster I was assigned the socially responsible task of learning to read, thus in a sense tying me down with a chore. However, the obvious objective was not to enslave me or curtail my freedom, but to allow me to emerge a free, literate man. Thus whenever we see on the surface a free spirit flying high like a butterfly, we should never forget beneath the surface such freedom is a byproduct of tight mutuality.

The reference below lists 10 interesting Leadership Lessons of MLK.
David Peck - Martin Luther King's Leadership Lessons:

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