We have an addiction to power.
The “we” here is fluid; you can plug in many different words into that placeholder and it will still be a true statement.
Americans have an addiction to power.
Christians have an addiction to power.
Politicians have an addiction to power.
See? It works.
This addiction leads to lots of problems, both for our society and us. It causes us to ignore the cries of the oppressed and impoverished. It causes us to be harsh and cruel with those who challenge our power and privilege. It causes us to blame the victims, and not the victimizers (because they share our power). This addiction causes us to resist calls for justice and equality, because we fear it will somehow diminish our place of dominance.
We have an addiction to power, and like all addiction, it’s killing us.
This current election cycle has, once again, exposed our habit. We can see its hooks in us, particularly when we start talking about “strength.” See, everyone wants to appear strong. And to do so, you need displays of strength.
we belittle those who seem weak or different,
we speak harshly and condescendingly to those with whom we disagree,
we use our place of privilege to demean and debase those who don’t have access to power.
We have an addiction to power, to shows of dominance and strength.
Once, when Jesus and his disciples were on a journey, he overheard them arguing about which of them would be greatest, strongest, first. Notice his response:
They entered Capernaum. When they had come into a house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about during the journey?” They didn’t respond, since on the way they had been debating with each other about who was the greatest. He sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be least of all and the servant of all.” Jesus reached for a little child, placed him among the Twelve, and embraced him. Then he said, “Whoever welcomes one of these children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me isn’t actually welcoming me but rather the one who sent me.”Mark 9v33-37, CEB
An argument broke out among the disciples over which one of them should be regarded as the greatest. But Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles rule over their subjects, and those in authority over them are called ‘friends of the people.’ But that’s not the way it will be with you. Instead, the greatest among you must become like a person of lower status and the leader like a servant. Luke 22v24-26, CEB
So I’ll gladly spend my time bragging about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power can rest on me. Therefore, I’m all right with weaknesses, insults, disasters, harassments, and stressful situations for the sake of Christ, because when I’m weak, then I’m strong.2 Corinthians 12v9-10, CEB
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