Author: Keino McWhinney
“When the righteous triumph, there is great glory, but when the wicked rise, people hide themselves.” (Proverbs 28:12 ESV)
“When the wicked rise, people hide themselves, but when they perish, the righteous increase.” (Proverbs 28: 28 ESV)
Mankind’s delight in power and the powerful is well documented. Power, it seems, is desired both for its “inherent” positive designation and also for the associated benefits that come from its possession. To be sure, the presence or absence of power has very real consequences in life. By power we assert, appropriate, confiscate, delegate, subjugate, acquire, dissolve, declare…and the list goes on. The converse is also true that those without power are considered to be in a state of deficiency. Not surprising, the bible offers guidance for how to use power and in Proverbs 28 we see the contrasting reaction to the possession of power by those who are righteous versus the wicked. The message is clear, power can and often is abused in the hands of the wrong person.
It is instructive to observe the many ways in which our society has sought to mitigate the abuse of power. For example, there are corporate policies on ethics, political checks and balances, audits, constitutions, and so on. However, power is not reserved solely for those who rule. Each of us should examine our lives to see the consequences of the powers we possess, be they limited or vast. If we want for an example of how to use our power, we need look no further than Jesus Christ who though possessing ultimate power nonetheless subjected himself to his father’s will.
So, who are we in the narrative of our daily lives? Are we good stewards of our power? I pray that through our imitation of Jesus’ example, our use of power will be counted as that of the righteous and not the wicked.