There’s an old adage that money is the root of all evil.
This is based upon 1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil,” which, like all Scripture, is essentially true. However, it fails to elaborate on one big reason people love money: for the power it imparts. Money brings power over material things and over people, as well.
It is human nature to want our lives to make a positive difference in the world, to overcome problems and help one another. When by our efforts we are able to make things happen, it gives us good feelings about ourselves and our abilities.
We feel powerful. Seeing our wishes fulfilled is intoxicating.
We may begin with the most benign motives, but we can easily start to exercise power over others for its own sake.
Lord Acton is often quoted as saying, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This is true because power feels good and the more power we have, the better it feels.
We only have to look at the abuses of power displayed during the Covid-19 crisis to see how true that is. Giving up power is not nearly as appealing as clinging to it or grasping for more.
This stands as a warning to Christians. It is in our human nature to want to influence and exert power over others, especially when we see ours as a good cause.
Believers must be vigilant, remembering that God holds all the power in our world.
When tempted to force our will upon others, we should step back and trust God to lead.
When witnessing or trying to influence others for the Lord, we must be sure to speak and act according to Galatians 5:22-23 (NASB):
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.
Our only power is the power bestowed by God for His purposes.
Christ instructed His disciples to include this reminder in their daily prayers.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever.
AMENMatthew 6:13 (KJV)