July 21, 2021
“Whether attained by craft or by chance, great power has a way of defining the person who wields it. Finding themselves venerated by those around them, the supremely powerful almost inevitably begin to worship themselves. Once such intoxicating superiority is tasted, relinquishing it can be experienced as an obliteration of the self. This is especially true for an office that gives its present occupant an intimation of immortality.”
Who do you think this is describing? What political party does this look like? The authors (Moshe Halbertal and Stephen Holmes) are describing King Saul. Their book, The Beginning of Politics seeks to deal with the political intrigue of Saul’s kingdom and David’s rise and replacement of it.
But one does not have to be a king to be in a position of authority and be tempted to abuse that power in order to stay in power. How many first-born children intimidate siblings who threaten their role? How many managers, bosses, leaders, coaches and even athletes threaten and cajole those who are rising stars whose skills expose their own weaknesses and failures? Power promises so much and delivers so little, yet so many wield it so poorly.
In the weakness of a baby, God came to earth. He was never owned by the privileges of power because he rightfully owned the power. He truly laid down his life on the cross since no one could force him to do anything. The One who never had to grab power, because it was already his, shared his authority with his disciples to go “in his name” and bear witness to his gospel. The omnipotent one calls us to believe in him, so that we will live with him and REIGN with him. It’s not like he needs our help because the job is too big for him. He shares his authority that we might share in him.
What positions of influence has the Lord given you? How do you reflect Christ by equipping others to thrive? How do you share the authority that you have by helping others be what they could be? Do you realize that we do all of that when we share the gospel? The gospel is the heart of it all. Who are you praying for? Have you prayed for them today?
Grace and peace,