Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- September 8, 2011
But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the LORD his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. 2 Chronicles 26:16
Lust for power is as insidious as it sounds. It is a dysfunctional drive that demands blind loyalty with nothing in return. Power hungry leaders are insensitive and short sighted as they take whatever means are necessary to accomplish their egocentric ends. They become entangled in their own web of wanting more control and find themselves trapped in a malaise of manipulation.
Power has built-in arrogance that needs to be confronted with honesty, humility and truth. Moreover, it is unnatural for the spiritually minded to need power. They give it away to avoid greedily getting more. The devil used the promise of power to tempt Christ, however Jesus knew that Satan’s temptation was a ploy that appealed to His pride.
“Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their splendor. “All this I will give you,” he said, “if you will bow down and worship me.” Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only’’” (Matthew 4:8-10).
Indeed, the lust for power does not exclude any industry or organization: politics, religion, business and ministry all have to deal with the stewardship of power and responsibility. So, how do you manage power or does it manage you? Only when you give it away are you free from its control. The more influence and authority you have the more wisdom and accountability you need from the Lord and trusted advisors.
You cannot keep power in its proper place without the principles of God’s Word prescribing your behavior. This is why it is extremely easy to work for a boss with character. You trust them and you believe they have yours and the company’s best interests in mind. This is why in marriage a woman can trust and follow a man of conviction, because she believes in him and trusts him to be accountable to God.
Furthermore, if you apply humility to your heart, power will not go to your head. Just as pride comes before a fall (Proverbs 16:18), humility comes before promotion by God. Therefore, use power as an excuse for persistent prayer and honest feedback. Give it away—for then it loses its prideful control and you avoid an embarrassing downfall.
“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted” (Luke 14:11).
How can I stay accountable as a servant leader and not follow pride’s downfall?
Related Readings: Psalm 10:4; Proverbs 8:13; 11:12; Isaiah 2:11-17
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