16 But when he had become powerful, he also became proud, which led to his downfall. (II Chronicles 26:16
In the Biblical record of Jewish kings we see leader after leader succumbing to self absorption and then ruining all things good. Power corrupts. Power turns itself into pride which results in problems for everyone. This isn’t just a localized problem that ancient Jewish kings experienced. This is every humans problem. It’s the story of human history! As I have read The History of the Medival World by Susan Wise Bauer and now GJ Meyers book on World War 1, this truth is the one constant! What is the cycle of human life? Gain power — Develop inflated view of self — Hurt others — Repeat.
What protections do I have against the corrupting nature of power?
1) Embrace A worldview that demands humility — I believe that I am the one who is broken. I am forever in need of a Saviour. I am the one who needs mercy, grace, and forgiveness.
2) Embrace a lifestyle that seeks service as the greatest form of leadership – “I am amoung you as one who serves” says Jesus, this “be great by serving others” model of living is exactly what Jesus attempted to instill in his followers.
3) Embrace a worship that exalts what is truly glorious. For the Christian, God is the creator and redeemer, the one who truly helps us and the one who will ultimately restore all the broken things in our lives and in this world. This God alone is worthy of the greatest praise. To celebrate the goodness of God in all things is of tremendous assistance when wanting to avoid the all to natural tendency towards self inflation.