It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
and the book:
Whitaker House (January 4, 2011)
***Special thanks to Cathy Hickling of Whitaker House for sending me a review copy.***
Dr. Myles Munroe is a best-selling author, founder and president of Bahamas Faith Ministries International, a motivational speaker, and consultant for government and business. He has spent the last thirty years training leaders worldwide in business, education, government and religion. Dr. Munroe completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies at Oral Roberts University and the University of Tulsa. He is the recipient of honorary doctoral degrees from a variety of schools and serves as an adjunct professor of the Graduate School of Theology at Oral Roberts University. Dr. Munroe and his wife Ruth are the parents of two grown children and travel as a teaching team.
Visit the author’s website.
Are you walking in your unique calling? Do you know that you have an inherent, personal authority that is meant to guide your life? In his new book, best-selling author Dr. Myles Munroe explains that many people don’t know how to live out their dreams or find their place in the world because they don’t understand the principle of true authority. Until one discovers his or her unique, God-given areas of authority and responsibilities, he or she may spend a lifetime feeling unfulfilled or lost. Discovering one’s personal authority is the key to fulfillment and effective living, Dr. Munroe maintains. He explains not only how to discover one’s inherent authority, but to how to respond constructively to others with confidence, free of fear and intimidation. Dr. Munroe has said that he feels this book contains his most significant teaching to date.
List Price: $12.99
Paperback: 224 pages
Publisher: Whitaker House (January 4, 2011)
AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Authority Is Within You
You Have Personal Authority and Power to Fulfill Your Purpose in Life
Neither the judges nor the audience expected anything from the plain-looking, middle-aged, unemployed woman from Scotland who was a contestant on the reality television show Britain’s Got Talent in the spring of 2009. When asked what her dream was, Susan Boyle answered, “I’m trying to be a professional singer.” As she talked with the judges before her performance, they were openly skeptical, and many of the audience members rolled their eyes and shook their heads incredulously, perhaps thinking this contestant had been included for a comic element by the producers of the show. When the introductory notes of her song started to play—“I Dreamed a Dream,” from the musical Les Miserables—some audience members even looked as if they were anxiously holding their breaths, afraid that this unassuming, naive woman would humiliate herself before millions of people.
Then, she began to sing.
With lyrical tones, compelling emotion, and a professional delivery, she sang the song as if she had written it herself to describe her unfulfilled life up to that point and her hopes for the future. Most of the audience members were clapping, cheering, and standing when she had sung just a few lines, and she received a resounding standing ovation at the conclusion of her performance. In minutes, she went from being perceived as a joke to being considered an inspiration and a role model for all who are seeking a second chance in life, or for all who want a first chance to manifest to the world who they are on the inside.
Susan Boyle became an international phenomenon overnight through her television appearance, the popularity of the tape of her performance on YouTube, and the overwhelming attention of the media. People were captivated by her voice and moved by her story of decades of struggling and longing to make something of her life.
Though her instantaneous rise to fame has caused inevitable stress for her along the way, she seems to have come to terms with the crush of attention. After finishing the contest in second place, she went on to build the professional singing career she had always dreamed of. Her debut CD, I Dreamed a Dream, has sold over eight million units worldwide as of this writing. The apex of her dream came to pass when, during the historic visit of Pope Benedict XVI to England and Scotland in September 2010, she was chosen to sing for the Pontiff at the conclusion of his open-air mass in Glasgow, which was attended by 65,000 people.
What does authority have to do with a television performance or even a singer? Doesn’t authority have to do with exercising some jurisdiction or control over other people? Doesn’t it involve, for example, leaders and followers, bosses and employees, parents and children, teachers and students, law enforcement officers and lawbreakers—in other words, those in charge and those under them who are instructed, directed, ordered, or made to do something?
Every Person on Earth Has Authority
There is an underlying aspect of authority that has not often been acknowledged or addressed by leaders, corporations, governments, and individuals but that is crucial for effective and fulfilling human endeavor. It provides the key not only for individual accomplishment but also for corporate success.
Susan Boyle’s story illustrates the essence of authority, as well as the heart of this book: true authority is personal, and true authority comes from within.
Authority does not mean having power or control over others.
Authority is not something you automatically receive with a title, either, such as “manager,” “boss,” “CEO,” or “president.”
Personal authority is inherent within every human being, whether that person is considered the one “in charge” or the one following orders. Authority is also inherent within every living thing created on earth. It is natural. It does not have to be “worked up,” and it cannot be given to someone—only released and developed.
Personal authority can be defined as the intrinsic gifts a person or thing possesses in order to fulfill the purpose for which that person or thing was placed on this earth. Because authority is intrinsic, every person or living thing already has the ability to fulfill his/her/its authority in the area, or the domain, of his/her/its gifting.
You have a personal authority that enables you to fulfill your purpose on earth. Have you identified your own personal authority? If you believe you have, are you functioning in it to the fullest extent that you would like to and that you are able to?
Four Foundational Principles for Understanding Authority
In this book, you will discover how to apply four foundational principles for understanding authority and entering into the power of your personal domain:
1. The Principle of the Author: The release of your personal authority is linked to the origin of your gifts and power, by which you can fully carry out your life’s purpose through your personal domain. Once you discover the true source of the authority that is inherent within you, opportunities for experiencing fulfillment and for contributing your unique gifts to the world will open wide.
2.The Principle of Authorization: You not only have personal authority within you, but you also have the permission and the right to carry it out in the world. No matter what your past experiences have been, or no matter what restrictions you have previously felt, you have the authorization you need to start fulfilling your life’s purpose. You’ll discover the key to that authorization in coming chapters.
3.The Principle of Authenticity: No person is truly authentic until he is manifesting his inherent authority. Once you understand and become your true self—who you were born to be—your life takes on authenticity. In other words, you are real, or authentic, while you are being who you were meant to be and doing what you were meant to do. In the following pages, you will learn how to identify and develop your authentic self.
4.The Principle of Authority: The above three principles lead to this fourth and foremost principle of authority, which is twofold. First, everyone and everything is designed to fulfill its purpose. Because your authority is inherent, you are automatically equipped to be what you have been authorized to be and to do what you have been authorized to do. You have been designed to fulfill your life’s purpose. Your personal authority guides the focus of your life and enables you to accomplish what you were born to accomplish. Second, everything depends on and must yield to something else in order to function, grow, prosper, and succeed. As you read this book, you will increasingly see how you can tap into your unique design and begin to apply it to the various aspects of your life. Your personal authority will emerge, and you will be able to live an effective life as you work in collaboration with others to fulfill each other’s purposes.
Authority Is Personal but Not Exclusive
Because authority is in essence personal, some people make the mistake of thinking that it is therefore exclusive to them and has nothing to do with others. They may think, I’m following my personal authority, so don’t get in my way. Or, they may tend to pursue their unique gifts and abilities only for what they can get out of them. Yet that perspective does not reflect the nature of personal authority, which is designed to operate in concert with other people and for the benefit of others, as well.
Since authority is within every person, and since humans are social beings who interact in social institutions, what happens when my authority meets your authority in the family, in the government, in the church, in the business world, and in other relationships and realms of human interaction? Authority works in such a way that people’s personal authorities are interrelated and function interdependently in corporate life. This isn’t just an observation but a vital principle: we need each other’s authority to fulfill our own.
Personal authority is carried out in the context of many realms of life and in association with a variety of human interactions and organizations. It operates in conjunction with collective human endeavors, such as we experience in families, communities, governments, churches, nonprofit organizations, schools, small businesses, and large corporations.
Yet none of these relationships and endeavors can truly thrive and be successful unless each individual associated with them understands his personal authority and is operating under it. Personal authority empowers each person to contribute his greatest gifts and skills for his own fulfillment and for the benefit of the whole community—no matter how large or small that community may be.
What Is Your Dream?
What is your dream for yourself, your family, your business, your organization, or your nation? Many people don’t know how to live out their dreams or find their true place in the world because they don’t understand how to put into practice the above principles of authority. You may have some idea of your personal authority but are not fulfilling the vast potential still inside you; you recognize that you are living well below your abilities.
What is true on a personal level is also true on a corporate level. Most of our corporate, community, and national problems come from the fact that people do not truly understand or live in their personal authorities or function in the interdependent nature of authority, which occurs when people blend their gifts to work together for the good of the whole.
Three Keys to Activating Personal Authority
In Susan Boyle’s case, her potential to inspire and entertain people through her inherent gift of music had been limited through a series of setbacks, not the least of which was early rejection by her peers, and the low self-esteem that resulted. Apparently, as she grew older, even though she sang locally, she increasingly had a sense that life was passing her by.
What led to the change in her circumstances?
First, she was aware of her inherent, inner authority—her tremendous singing ability—and had not let that talent fall by the wayside but had tried to develop it as best she could. Personal authority is dependent upon your truly knowing yourself, knowing the authority inside you. It is impossible to exercise your authority if you do not know yourself.
Second, although circumstances in her life had prevented her from having a professional singing career in the past (she had even sent demo CDs to music companies, without success), Susan tried one more time. She made a conscious decision to act on her inherent authority. In fact, she had promised her mother, who had passed away, that she would “be someone.” Her success at “being someone” was not initiated by the fame and acclaim she received but because she exercised her inherent authority—who she was gifted to be—and the world took notice. When she employed her authority, she discovered the very real power of her personal domain.
Third, even though it was outside of her “comfort zone,” she submitted to placing herself in a situation where others could recognize her personal authority and enable her to pursue and develop it to the highest extent. Once she was willing to let that happen, her obvious talent commanded attention. The discovery of Susan Boyle’s outstanding musical gift serves as an excellent example of the nature of one’s personal authority and its interdependence with the personal authority of others. Please note carefully that I did not say her gift was created but rather “discovered.” The Britain’s Got Talent television show did not give authority to her singing gift but simply provided the stage for the release of her authority. In essence, she had always possessed the authority of her gift in the domain of singing, but she needed an audience and an opportunity to serve it to the world. Yet she almost didn’t try to be a contestant on the television program because she thought she was too old to pursue her dream. You are never too old or too young or too poor or too rich or too anything to pursue your inherent authority. What is natural within you will manifest itself if you allow it to.
Your Personal Domain
King Solomon, one of the wisest people who ever lived, wrote, “A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers him into the presence of the great” (Proverbs 18:16), and “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will serve before kings” (Proverbs 22:29). Susan Boyle’s gift made a way for her—it brought her before influential people who opened doors that enabled her to fulfill the inner dreams and longings she had held all her life. Although she had already exercised her gift in various ways in her local community, there was an even greater realm in which she was meant to share it.
Your authority also has a domain in which it is to be exercised. The size or scope of that domain, and whether you become “well-known” is not the issue. The issue is whether you will recognize what is inherent within you and exercise your gift for yourself and others. Your authority is your unique leadership ability in the world.
Many people allow their true authority to remain untapped. They have neither discovered nor pursued their special ability to contribute to their generation. Whether one is genuinely operating in one’s gifts is not necessarily measured by outward success. Both a multimillionaire businessman and a single mother struggling to make ends meet can still have hidden, untapped authority that, once released and manifested, will bring something of tremendous value to their lives and the lives of others.
The only way you can exercise true authority is to recognize and start functioning in the power of your personal domain.
Counterfeit and Authentic Pursuits
When people violate the principles of authority, it is usually because they don’t have a foundational understanding of what genuine authority really is. Many individuals who have great gifts, talents, dreams, and promise have destroyed their futures by failing to implement these principles.
For example, many people pursue prosperity or fame for their own sakes, but these pursuits are not authentic. Instead, people should be pursuing their inner authority. They will discover that when they do so, prosperity will come toward them. Our prosperity is found where our authority is.
True authority is the right and the power to be who you were created to be. You can be a more effective parent, carpenter, hairdresser, entrepreneur, CEO, teacher, student, pastor, government official, or any other role or calling—you can be a more effective person—if you discover your true authority and understand and live out its principles.
If you have already discovered your personal authority and are pursuing it, you can be even more effective in it by applying the principles of authority delineated in this book. You can discover how they operate and what they can do in your life and vocation as you interact with theirs in various realms of life and learn how to blend your personal authority with others’ for greater results. You’ll also learn the origins of your personal authority, why authority works, how authority works, and how to implement it.
If the concept of personal authority is new to you, or if you have been frustrated because you know you have something to contribute to your generation but don’t feel you have been exercising your personal authority and want to be effective in it, you will find the tools you need in this book. Everyone can exercise authority because authority is within each of us.
Why Many People Are Afraid of Authority
Although everyone has personal authority, and although all the major realms of human interaction involve the use of authority, personal authority is still one of the most misunderstood principles in human relations.
Because of this, most people I meet are afraid of authority to some degree. You may be one of them. You may have picked up this book with some measure of apprehension. That is understandable, considering the way authority has been modeled for many of us. Most people misunderstand authority because they have never seen it in its true form. Authority has been misconceived, misdefined, misrepresented, and misused. We’re afraid of it because we don’t understand its nature and purposes. As a result, it is seen as a negative element rather than a positive one.
You may have had a bad experience with a parent, a teacher, an employer, or another “authority figure.” You may be a woman or a member of a race or community who has been told you are inferior and who has been prevented from developing your abilities to the fullest. Perhaps you have been a victim of oppression in which religious authority was used to control your life or, even worse, a religious authority figure took advantage of your trust and mentally or physically abused you. If that is the case, your distrust, fear, and hatred of authority are understandable. Or, you may be among those who believe that only people who have a certain title or a type A personality or who reach a certain “level” in life can have authority.
Authority as an aspect of life has been misunderstood and misused to the point that it has often become the opposite of what it was meant to be. Yet you will discover in this book that the nature of genuine authority is the antithesis of suppression and oppression and is actually the source of true freedom and fulfillment.
In the next chapter, we’ll explore some of the distorted and restricted views of authority that people have accepted, and the misconceptions they breed, which have brought us to what I believe is an actual crisis in authority. In every country of the world, people misunderstand, misuse, or abuse authority. As a result, we have too much of the wrong kind of authority and too little of the right kind of authority. Our failure to understand authority has led to a decreasing quality in people’s lives and a lack of true order, peace, and progress in societies and cultures of the world.
What Are You Authorized to Do?
Authority is therefore the key to fulfillment and effective living, the means to proper function in life, and the guarantor of success. Authority is the law of maximum performance. It is also the means of powerful, positive influence in other people’s lives. If authority is all of these things, then is it imperative that we all understand this critical concept? Obviously, yes.
Unless you know what you’re authorized to do in life, you will always experience some degree of dissatisfaction, uncertainty, frustration, and perhaps even anger in regard to your circumstances. Yet, you have the opportunity, responsibility, and ability to develop your own personal authority and carry out your unique purpose in life in conjunction with others.
You are uniquely designed for what you were born to do through your gifts, abilities, and personality. No matter what other people may have told you in the past about your potential, you can release the principles, power, and protection of authority into your life.
Each of the following chapters is designed so that, as you proceed through this book, you will gain a more complete picture of true authority and the many applications of authority to your life that will free you to be all you were meant to be. You’ll learn about the basic realms of authority and how to live fruitfully in each.
Through The Purpose and Power of Authority, you will come to…
recognize what true authority is—and what it is not
understand your own personal, inherent authority
discover how to identify the “territory” or area of life you are authorized to
learn the origins of true authority
gain order, simplicity, and peace in your life
respond constructively to others in their own realms of authority
exercise your intrinsic power and gifting
lead others into their own personal authority
live confidently and purposefully
be true to your life calling
maximize your gifts, talents, and skills
find true prosperity
work with joy
Susan Boyle determined to do something with her life after years of disappointment and therefore exercised the authority within her. “I made a promise to be someone,” she said. I want you to make that same promise to be someone. That “someone” is your true self manifested to the world. Susan Boyle not only has used her authority, but she is an authority. True authority is self-manifestation.
In the next few chapters, we will look at some foundational principles of authority that are an essential background for understanding and implementing your personal authority.
This is a book I would recommend to every Christian. This culture has such a poor concept of authority, that we need a reality check. We have seen the abuse of authority on so many levels that we almost have an aversion to the very word.
This book speaks of not only appropriate authority over us, but also our own authority to live out our unique gifts and purposes. This is information desperately needed by the body of Christ today. Highly recommended.