Karl Barth said...

God's omnipotence is not power in itself, but the power of love.

Proverbs 3:31: Do not envy the violent or choose any of their ways.

Power. It is a strange word to anyone who belongs to the church of Jesus Christ. The only one who has power is the Lord of the church, Jesus Christ. All power belongs to Him who gave up His life. All power belongs to Him who rose from the dead (Matthew 28: 18-20). This is the power of his love.

Henri Nouwen writes about power in his well-known book, In the Name of Jesus. Power is something, says Nouwen that every Christian leader should be very cautious about. How strange it is to see leaders in churches looking for better and bigger positions! In addition to our tendency to try to be popular and be extraordinary, power is one of the most terrible temptations for any leader, but also for any person. Every time the church and believers have chosen to use power, love went out the back door. Power and love exclude each other.

The evil man, says the poet, the wicked and the arrogant scoffers are those who are abusing their power. In contrast, those who are humble and have a spirit of wisdom, choose to show love to their fellow human beings (3:27). In the Bible a person's commitment to God is often tested by whether we help those who are hurting (Luke 10: 25-37; James 1:27; 1 John 3:16-18). This is the power of love.

Of course we all have positions and titles, but that does not mean we should use it to control others. To help people in need often requires precisely abandoning our positions and status. It is to get off the throne and help. It requires that we stand next to and with those who suffer hardship and need help.

What power will you use today? The power of love? It is wisdom. The power to control others? It is foolish and wicked.

Lord, let your love in me have a powerful effect, by the power of your Spirit. Amen.