Billy's Blog
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July 10, 2018, 9:39 AM

The Corruption Of Power


Power should be a good thing. If you have power and influence that should be good. It's a great opportunity to do a lot of amazing things. If you have power you probably have some money, too. Money can sure do a lot of good things, but the Bible says that the love of money is the root of all sorts of evil. The same is true of power. 

I thought this quote by a guy named Emerich Edward Dahlberg Acton was pretty good. He said, "All power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Power doesn't have to corrupt people, but it sure seems to. And absolute power...usually not a good thing. When you hear the word, dictator, it probably doesn't bring any good memories up. We think of Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin...men with absolute power who did terrible things. 

Why does power corrupt people? Why can't we do good things with power? 

Here's what things like power and money reveal...they reveal what you really love. If you really love people and value people more than power or money you will do positive and good things with your power. If you love power more than people you will use your power to do what's best for you. Read what John writes in 1 John chapter two. 

 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:15-17

If you love the world, the things of the world like money and power and prestige, then you will give in to the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes and to pride. You will be corruptible. There are many men and women who go into politics with great intentions to do great things for people, and they end up being corrupted by the power they receive. Their first love changed. Or maybe they were in love with an idea...an idea to help people, but it wasn't really who they were. 

There have been many men and women who have used power and influence to help a lot of people. We've all heard stories of rich and famous people who built hospitals, or supported missionaries, or built people homes...these like this. Many of these people do not do it in front of the camera and lights they just do it, because their first love is not the power and the money. 

If you love the world you're going to be corruptible. We don't have to be politicians or wealthy or famous to be corruptible. Our motives and intentions can be corrupted no matter how insignificant we may be in the scheme of things. We need to check ourselves. Is our first love in the right place? 

John also wrote the book of Revelation and in chapter two he deals with a church in Ephesus. This church had some great things in the past. John praises them for their hard work, their perseverence, their endurance, and their willingness to stand up to false teachers. But one thing they lacked...they had lost their first love. They had forgotten why they were doing what they were doing. 

We can't lose our first love. We can't fall in love with the world and the things around us. This when we get corruptible. We must always challenge ourselves to go back to where it all started...our love for Jesus. That's where it all started and that's where it needs to stay. 


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