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Authority & Trustworthiness

When I first became a Christian in my twenties, I worked with a guy who challenged me about the credibility of Christianity.

His point was that no one—outside of your own self—could really know for sure what truth was. He was immersed in the teachings of a philosopher named Jiddu Krishnamurti.

As a 14-year-old boy in India, Krishnamurti was taken in by the Theosophical Society in the early 1900’s. They believed he was the coming World Teacher—the reincarnation of Christ in the West and Buddha in the East. He was groomed to be the new Messiah. At one point, some enthralled Theosophists believed he would visit Australia by walking on water in Sydney harbor.

He took a boat instead.

But in his mid-thirties, Krishnamurti renounced everything. He saw it all as a sham and actually disbanded the group who thought he was messianic. He later wrote that “truth is a pathless land, and you cannot approach it by any path whatsoever, by any religion, by any sect . . . Truth, being limitless, unconditioned, unapproachable by any path whatsoever, cannot be organized; nor should any organization be formed to lead or coerce people along a particular path.”

My co-worker thought my new-found dependence on Jesus was something of a “blind followership”. One day he said to me, “Krishnamurti says you cannot trust anyone as a source of spiritual knowledge and authority except for your own self and your own senses”…to which I asked, “So why should I believe him?”

Authority is absolutely critical for intellectual and spiritual growth. But the trustworthiness of the authority is crucial. I have seen neither microbes nor pterodactyls, but I trust those who have done the research, offered the evidence, described their experience, and explained the process. Most everything you know is based on trusting an authority. Otherwise you’d never grow if all you had were your five senses and no interaction with others’ experience and research.

This is where mentoring can be so helpful. To spend time with someone who is trustworthy and a bit further down the road than where you are, or has personally experienced, struggled, and persevered, or has researched and studied the specific areas you need help on, is vital for growth as a leader.

Imagine a quarterback who avoided any mentoring or coaching: how well will they play at the NFL level? Or even interact with their teammates?

And how is that working for you?



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