Power: How important is it?

How important is power to you?  How are you keeping it in perspective? These are questions that candidates should be asked, especially during an election year for the highest office in the land. Not only should the presidential candidates be asked, but we should ask ourselves. Perspectives on positions of power and authority are critical to the influential outcome of a nation, government entity, organization, home and family environment, as well as the personal leadership role in any sphere of influence.

I’m a witness that power can go to an individual’s head, especially if they’ve never held an official or professional position of power. I say, “official” position because we all have personal power—influence—over others in our circle of friends or acquaintances.

Power can result in egocentric behavior driven by self-gratification and an improper perspective on the purpose of power. Since I always use the Bible to substantiate my point(s), here’s an example. The fishermen and farmers that Jesus called to be His disciples (to side with His party) as well as those He sent out on assignment were overcome with excitement to discover their power and spiritual authority. They returned from their assignment on overwhelmed by their successful outcome. They were full of joy as they  gave their report telling Jesus how demons were subject to them in His name (Luke 10:17). Of course, Jesus did not share their enthusiasm being secure in His position of power and authority; He kept power in perspective. As a matter of fact, His response did not help inflate their egos in the least.

We can always depend on Jesus to help us stay grounded.  He admonished them to keep their power and authority in proper perspective. In essence, He let them know it’s not about you and the power and authority you’ve been entrusted with to use my name.  It’s about the purpose for the power, and how you use it. They were sent out to help people!  Power and authority should always be used for the following: help not hurt,  to improve and enhance, emancipate not enslave,  preserve the good not promote the evil, unify not divide. How you use the power and authority given can be determined by your level of understanding the purpose of power, moral character and values—integrity, maturity and selflessness. If self-exaltation and gratification are motives for desiring power and not helping others, then the probability of abuse of that power is much greater.

Just as Jesus told the disciples what mattered most was their salvation, we too must assess what matters most to us. He said their names being written in heaven was more important than their power (Luke 10:18-20). Wow! That response must have let the air out of their heads.  Until part two, hopefully, you’ll ponder the questions: How important is power to you?  How are you keeping it in perspective? 

Care to share your comments? Go ahead… Thanks!

To be continued….


2 thoughts on “Power: How important is it?

  1. ‘to improve and enhance, emancipate not enslave, preserve the good not promote the evil, unify not divide….’
    How very very true – and how disheartening it can be to observe that some of the worst abuses can be inside the church, in our parishes and communities. I am sure that you will find plenty to say on this subject. Please don’t feel obliged to limit yourself to two posts ; )


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