Monday, May 9, 2011

HOPE FOR TODAY: Great Power Calls for Great Responsibility

When Young Peter Parker was still growing into his newfound superpower as Spiderman, during a pivotal moment, he remembered a comment his Uncle made to him, “With great power comes great responsibility”.

No matter if someone is a leading political official, the top of a successful company, or the head of an influential organization they all have something in common. Their position comes with a level of power and authority.

The need for responsible management of power is essential, as some leaders will grow to like their power and work to retain it. As a result, self-preserving decisions will be made. In the short term, such decisions will bring success. In the long term, they will bring devastating consequences. Additionally, a power-hungry leader will begin to experience the inward effects of the poisonous cocktail they willingly drink. It is a potent mixture of pride, arrogance and selfishness along with a shot of greed.

Eventually, this poison will so weaken leaders that what they have built will mercilessly be ripped from their fingers in embarrassment and shame.

What if someone occupied the seat of power from the mindset of serving rather than receiving, humility rather than pride, generosity rather than greed? What if they never operated out of a self-preservation motive? What if they did what was right, good and just even if they knew it might cost them dearly?

There is an example of someone who did lead that way – Jesus. In three years, He rose from an obscure carpenter to one of the most powerful and influential figures of His day. Today, nearly 2,000 years later, His name is known worldwide and the movement He started, Christianity, numbers in the billions of followers.

Jesus made a startling statement that reveals His unique style of leadership, “For even the Son of Man [Jesus] came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

What would happen to our world if all those in positions of power led from the mindset of Jesus? What a difference it would make. May those with great power exercise great responsibility. May leaders choose to humble themselves before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, calling upon Him to change their hearts that He may be their hope for today and for those whom they lead.