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Power is only useful when used for others - Albia Newspapers: Opinion

Power is only useful when used for others

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Posted: Friday, June 2, 2017 9:09 am

Power. Lots of people love it, crave it, and, yes, misuse it.

I think in our world today we see many crave power, but yet it is nothing new. The great English preacher Charles Spurgeon once said, “A man who will not do well in his present place because he longs to be higher is already to high and should be put lower.” The self-seeking and self important Diotrephes in 3 John 9, 10 heads a long line of people who never learned to distinguish between love for Christ and for their place in the church.

But wait Richard, you are talking about those in the church who want power. Yep! You see it is not just in the annals of business and politics that people crave power. It is everywhere, even the church.

The apostle John writes stinging words about this man because he posed a serious danger, as most people in any walk of life do when they crave power. He was power hungry and prideful. He aggressively opposed the truth and those who preached it. He worked hard to keep out anyone who might threaten his position and he used his position to promote selfishness in others.

In any walk of life there are structures which allow people like this to either do good or abuse power. Those who abuse it like this Biblical man, Diotrephes, seek greedily, prominence and control. But the bottom line is that only one person can have preeminence in and among God’s people- Jesus. Colossians 1:18

In the church, our focus as believers should not be on position within the church but participation in the church to advance God’s work and bring Him glory. In the church, we serve God best when we use and employ the resources and talents He has given us to serve His people. Unfortunately, many in positions of power in churches do not do that.

But it is also true in any walk of life. If power held does not improve the lot of those who need governed or served, then it is power misused. Power, like money, is only useful when it is used to benefit others. If it, power and riches, are used to promote one’s self or a selfish agenda, it is misused. Therein lies the problem in much of our society, particularly in government and business. No community is immune from power hungry people, nor is any organization.

Power often leads to a control demeanor too, which can be harmful as well. Control freaks abound in our society and even in relationships. Again, it is not good.

Power is best held by those who humbly know that it is the Lord who should be glorified and not themselves. It is best held by those who humbly want to benefit others rather than pointing to themselves. In our society today, power is a lust of the flesh so to speak. It can even be a tool of satan as we have seen in world history. If you hold power, use it wisely. If you crave power, ask yourself why. It is a powerful drug and must be used wisely or it can be toxic. If one has it, tune in to the one who allowed it and glorify Him. In that manner, it is in good hands.

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