2 Thessalonians 3:9 - Power Corrupts
2 Thessalonians 3:9 "It was not because we do not have that right, but to give you in ourselves an example to imitate." (ESV)
"Power tends to corrupt.........and absolute power corrupts absolutely." (John Emerich Edward Dalberg Acton, (1834-1902))
When I was in school, I remember hearing the above statement in one of the classes I took..........I believe it was history. In the class the professor was trying to make the point that throughout history there are numerous examples of leaders who abused their prerogatives of power. I remember him citing several examples of the abuse of power in ages past and times present.
He also went on to point out examples of people in history who had the power but were very judicious in its use. These great leaders, it seemed, spent a great deal of time trying to downplay the perception that they were persons of power. They preferred, instead, to make personal connections with people..........meet them eye-to-eye...........emphasize what they had in common with others and not what might separate them.
Every one of those leaders, it seemed to me back then and does so today, had a strong sense of themselves. And it also seemed they intuitively shared the perception of what connects us all............we all struggle in our own way to realize our true potential in life.........some do it quietly and out of sight of others............and some, by circumstance, are thrown into the spotlight of wide recognition.
Brother Paul's statement above seems to reinforce what true leadership is all about..........it's about having the power.....or the right, to order someone around or something done..........but, instead, rolling up the sleeves and leading by example...........using power judiciously but never for the blatant service of self.
But even the best of us isn't beyond the reach of the enemy who seeks to exploit our weaknesses..........and our only real protection is through the umbrella of Grace given us by our Lord, Jesus Christ.
I know I need that protection because I can look back at several points in my life and see example after example of me trying to go it alone. I never seemed to be successful..........I'd trip up............lose my focus.........fail to meet the objective.
By putting the Lord at the center of my life, I know I'll always be where I need to be..........and that's where He wants me to be....which is all that matters in life really.
One of the passages I love in the Bible is from Ecclesiastes....."I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind." (Ecclesiastes 1:14 (ESV))
Amen and amen.
Only Jesus puts real meaning into my life.
Love in Jesus,
"But now God has placed the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired." (1 Corinthians 12:18 NASB)
"Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission."
This devotional was originally posted on CCI-Devo - Daily Group Devotionals on January 20, 2004 in post #456. It was written by Jim Ross, a former United Pentecostal Church member, who attends Christian Challenge International, the sponsor of the devotional group. The devotional is the copyright of Jim Ross and is reprinted on this site by permission.
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August 23, 1997
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