Power and Character

Luke 7: 1-10

There is a saying that if you wish to find out the true character of a person, give that person three things:

  • First, give him/her money
  • Second, let him/her hit rock bottom
  • Third, give him/her power

Throughout history we know of people who started very simple, then rose up to the very high positions. What happens? Instead of becoming a blessing, they become a curse. Instead of serving, they desire that they be served.

In Luke’s Gospel we hear of a person of power. He was a centurion. Yet look at what he does:

  • First, he was concerned about the welfare of his very sick servant
  • Second, he helped build the temple
  • Third, he loved Israel

Lastly, he was respectful of Jewish tradition. Jesus entering his house meant that Jesus would become ritually unclean. That is why he said, “Just only say the word and my servant would be cured.”

Hence for people of influence and people of power, three things we remember:

  1. Power comes from God. We are in such positions because God has a plan and mission for us. For us to be able to do this mission, power is important. The influence is important.
  2. Accountability. At the end of our lives, we are going to give to the Lord an accounting of how we used God’s blessings. In other words, it is so assuring to have a leader who has the fear of the Lord. 
  3. Passing World. To help deal with the power it should be very important to remember that all things come to pass. In that sense, we keep ourselves grounded.

We pray for people of influence and power. May they never forget it is meant to serve. The higher the person goes in the world, the more persons are meant to be served. In closing, we remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi: ‘The day the power of love overrules the love for power, the world will know peace’.

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