There is a certain joy in obedience. This joy does not flow from obedience that seeks to earn acceptance, favor or status. Such “obedience” is self-serving and will not result in true joy. Neither can this joy flow from obedience that seeks to appease. Appeasement is always an elusive goal and can never bring satisfaction. One will always wonder if one has done enough to make things right.
Proverbs 16:12 offers a challenge to anyone in a position of authority over others, especially parents. This verse teaches that righteousness is what establishes authority. While a multitude of theories and books offer differing takes on how to be an effective leader, the Bible offers this one basic concept. Implicit in the biblical concept is the idea that all authority is derived from God; it is not earned. So, the focus on righteousness is also a focus on the One who granted the authority in the first place. The appeal to God’s authority, accomplished by yielding to him in righteousness, establishes a person’s individual authority. This leads to two practical applications.