What do you do with power?
There’s a lot of rancor currently around the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Amy Coney Barrett. There’s a lot of noise from both sides of the fence.
The Democrats protest that a Supreme Court justice shouldn’t be confirmed during the presidential election. A few years back the Republicans prevented a Supreme Court confirmation for the same reason.
But let’s be honest. If the Democrats had control of the Senate, they’d certainly vote to prevent confirmation of a new judge. In this case, the Republicans have control of the Senate and will seek confirmation because they are in power.
Do we really think that if things were reversed, that either side would do any differently? I think not.
That’s the way of the world. When you have power, you wield it to your advantage.
But the truth is that the very best leaders don’t use power as a kind of sledgehammer. In fact, the most influential leader in all of history never wielded power like a sword. When his enemies moved against him, he said that he had the power to call down the armies of heaven to fight his battles.
He chose not to exercise that power. Instead, he chose to submit to a death he did not deserve. He gave his life for people who rejected him to chase the illusory promises of independence from God. For us. He laid aside his power so that a rebellious, broken world might receive redemption.
This Jesus—he changed the world by how he used power. I wonder what our world would look like today if there were more leaders like him.
Whatever measure of power you possess, you have choices about how you use it. One option is to seek only your own agenda and advancement. Another way is to approach power as something entrusted to you by God. Your power is a gift to equip you to genuinely seek the good of others.
That’s not the way the world does power. But it’s refreshingly like Jesus, who “did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10.45).
Photo by Richard Felix on Unsplash
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Published October 21, 2020