Power can certainly go to one’s head and when you’re in a position of authority, it’s very easy for that to happen. I myself am in a power of authority, not just in the church but also in the workplace. And it’s not unusual for the flesh to rise up and you want to use that authority because you know that people have to listen to you or will listen to you simply because of that.
For a Christian though, the answer to that is fairly straightforward — though it might be difficult to actually make it a reality. And that really comes down to the objective of the Christian life right on this earth, which is articulated for us in 2 Corinthians 3:18, where it says that God is transforming us into the image of His Son.
So, the answer to not allowing power to go to the head is very simply by becoming more Christ-like. Christ is the epitome of the Servant Leader. Today, this whole concept of servant leadership has actually caught on in secular management thinking and a lot of the leadership training. They all focus on this. But Jesus was actually the first real Servant Leader in history. He says the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many.
Today, the concept of servant leadership has caught on in secular management thinking. But Jesus was the first real servant leader in history
When you think about what Paul tells us in Philippians 2, he says: “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who did not consider equality with God something to be held on to, but He humbled Himself unto death, even death on a cross.” In James, it says that God resists the proud, but He gives grace to the humble. If you look at the fruit of the Spirit, the fruit of the Spirit itself in Galatians 5 doesn’t have humility in there, but you look at some of the other character qualities of the fruit of the Spirit — things like patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness — you look at all of these… you associate all of these with the character quality of humbleness or humility.
So, for us as Christians, if we are leaders — whether it is at the workplace or at home — it is important that we are continuing to build up ourselves spiritually. And if we are growing as Christians, it means that we are becoming more Christ-like. We are imbibing the character qualities of the Lord Jesus Christ into our own personal lives and we become more humble when we do that. Then, naturally it will flow that we will have that sort of check on our authority, on abusing our authority, on staying humble at all times.
So, there’s really no secret to it, because we, as Christians, are called to become more Christ-like. That is the process of sanctification that begins at the time we are redeemed and then goes on for the rest of our lives. As we go through that process and as we become more Christ-like, as we build ourselves up spiritually, it’s almost natural that we will be able to exercise our authority in a proper way, in a responsible way, in a humble way — and we can do it just as the Lord Jesus Christ did, by being the kind of humble servant leader that He was.
(Video courtesy: Philip Prabhakaran)
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