Pearls of Grace - November 27

Published: Nov 27, 2021

November 27

Power Addictions

"Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves;"

Philippians 2:3

Abraham Lincoln said, "If you want to test a man’s character, give him power." Napoleon Bonaparte became the ruler of France the same year that George Washington died. What a contrast we see in the lives of these two men. George Washington ran from power, seeking to live the simple life of servant-hood while Napoleon, who called power his mistress, couldn’t obtain enough power. At the end of his reign, having lost all power and living in exile, he grieved as he spoke these words; "they wanted me to be another George Washington". You see George Washington was unique, in that, he ran from power while others tried to thrust it upon him. He did not want greatness, but rather, he sought to do good deeds great. When prodded to run for presidency for a third term, he refused and retired quietly to his farm. This is what made him great; humility and a servant’s heart.

History is ridden with stories of people who abused the power given to them. Power can corrupt but it’s often the corrupt that are drawn to power. And could it be that power doesn’t really ruin a person but rather just exposes what they already were? God’s greatest men and women were those who sought to serve, never to lead. Stephen, the first martyr of the church, a man full of the power and spirit of God, was chosen to wait on tables! Yet, he was one of the most powerful men upon the earth during the early church. It’s a servant’s heart that God seeks to do powerful deeds through.

What would God find in your heart today, beloved? Service or power? Are you seeking to build your own kingdom, as Napoleon did, or are you surrendering yourself in humble gratitude as the Lord’s servant as Washington? If you enjoy power, or position then, that’s a red flag for our hearts that we are in need of repentance. A true servant will never see themselves as owning anything and power will be the one thing they will never desire.

I Am Your Servant, in All Things

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Originally published Saturday, 27 November 2021.