Over the coming few weeks our newsletter articles will be exploring different temptations we might face as followers of Jesus. For the next three weeks I thought we would begin by looking at the temptations positions of power present to us.
It is not that having power is a bad thing in fact, at some level, all of us have power. Every part of our world operates with people in power. We have people with political power, business power, positions of power in the family and position of power in marriage.
The temptation we face regarding the power we have is this, “How we are going to use it?” Are we using the power we have in an ungodly way or are we using it in a God honour way?
I hope to explore three areas of our lives in which if we use our power in a godly way it will have an incredible God honouring impact.
Using Your Power in the Church
The first area is in the church. The book of James has certainly raised a few areas in which power can be used in an ungodly way in the church. In James 2 favouritism is forbidden. Do we show special attention to those we get on with or who dress like us or who have a similar style of living or similar education or wealth or …. Then in James 3 we are reminded how powerful the tongue is and we are urged to use it in a way that build each other up in godly ways. Churches can have lobby groups that seek to have their agenda given priority.
A pastor can use their position of power to give people what their itching ears want to hear, or to manipulate those who are vulnerable, or to play on their emotions, or to gain a higher visibility amongst their peers or may be even to seek a “better” parish. Sadly there are plenty of pastors who have used their position of power over their congregations to build worldly materialistic empires.
So how can we use our power in the church in a godly way instead of falling to the temptation to use it an ungodly way?
Here are some questions that might help us work things out:
- Who are we serving?
- Are we are serving God not ourselves?
- Are we using the power we have in ways that bring glory to God and not ourselves?
- Are we promoting and proclaiming the things that God is concerned about?
- Is His agenda for the world our agenda?
- What do we do when the thing that we suggested not acted on?
- Do we only give of our money or our time when our suggestions are followed?
Next week we will look at using our power in our family in godly ways.