READ: Ecclesiastes 8:8-9
- It really doesn’t matter who you are, there are some things over which none of us have any power. Solomon says, no one can stop death from happening. And, no one can prevent the hurt that one man does to another in time of war. These things are beyond the control of even the most powerful on earth. And that’s just the thing about power—it isn’t ever absolute. And it’s always temporary—even if temporary is measured in decades.
- In reality, power resides in position, personality and character. Some have power only because of position. They are “over” everyone and thus have power to do as they see fit. Some have power because of personality. Their charisma attracts followers. Others have power because they have integrity; their character almost requires that you follow them. Real leaders usually have some combination of all three.
- Leaders who exercise power solely because of position are usually dictators or despots. Those who lead from charisma are usually creating a cult-like following, often without any substance. Those who lead from personal integrity sometimes have no position (occasionally, they are not personally attractive), but people follow them anywhere. Their power is influence, not coercion. Those who have all three (position coming in last of the three) are the most “powerful” among us.
- Who do you know that led from a position of power but lacked either of the other qualities?
- Which leader would you rather follow?
- Which leader are you?
PRAY: Thank God for the leaders among us who are men and women of integrity. Pray that your “power” is that of integrity. Ask God to protect the church from leaders who are positional leaders only.