It is said, power corrupts and once achieved, power creates an insatiable desire for more.
We all have been exposed to the desire for power. It may have been someone in our lives who exerted power over us, or we could have been positioned to exert power over someone else.
Regardless, the need for power has always been at the forefront of the human condition.
It was the serpent’s quest for power that put him in the Garden and led him to tempt Eve. It was the promise of being more like God that led her to being manipulated into succumbing to the temptation presented.
Over time, the lust for power has been at the forefront of the greatest atrocities of human history. In every great empire those in power sought to maintain power by any means necessary.
“Protecting power” is the primary motivation for those in power. Because they know, if they do not protect it, they may lose it.
Jesus’ day was no exception, as we see Pontius Pilate the Governor and Caiaphas the High Priest “protecting power” by using their influence over the people to lead Jesus to the Cross. Though this was God’s plan, these men did this for their own reasons. Pilate, though in a position of power had, political aspirations to protect. Caiaphas had his religious position and the Jewish people to safeguard from the influence Jesus had garnered.
Similar reasoning holds true today, as those in power manipulate the law and the people to carry out their will. This is seen in the disparate way laws are applied to one group and not another. We also see people being manipulated as those in power coordinate their narrative with those positioned to wield the most influence over the powerless.
As in the past, these power brokers include the media, government officials, business, and church leaders. Each of these groups have been guilty in recent times of using their influence to try and sway opinions, views, and perspectives by echoing the message those in power demand.
What can we do about it? How can we protect ourselves from those who are “protecting power”?
It starts with paying attention to what we see and hear, being aware and informed. Then, being willing to allow differing views and opinions to challenge our own.
Finally, we must remember, though we are all subject to those in power, we determine how much power and the level of influence these people have in our lives.
In the end if we stay “alert and keep watch”, perhaps those “protecting power” will not be able to use that power against us. If not, we can be assured, the power they possess will be used to destroy us!
Mark 10:42-44, “Calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, “You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all”.