“With great power, comes great responsibility” These words have been attributed to Stan Lee, writer of Spider-Man. In actuality they first appeared around 1817 in the works of William Lamb, English Prime Minister. However, I’d like to think it was Jesus that provided the inspiration in Luke 12:48 – Everyone to whom much was given, of him much will be required, and from him to whom they entrusted much, they will demand the more. Jesus not only understood the pitfalls of power, he demonstrated to us that true leadership comes through leading by example. People in positions of power generally lead by either encouragement or intimidation. From the parent/child to the employer/employee relationship and everything in between, there is understood hierarchy. We’ve all found ourselves in places of power and inadvertently abused that position. Have you lashed out at your children over a repeated offense? Have you intimidated an employee with your words out of anger? While these seem somewhat appropriate reactions, God wants us to look at things differently. In every such situation we have the choice to react or respond. Reacting is an unthoughtful action to a situation. Responding takes into account all things and the best course of action. You see God knows there’s more at stake then that moment in time. He wants us to carefully consider our words and actions, especially when we interact with so-called subordinates. Mind you, this is not about soft peddling discipline, but it is a call to change how it’s delivered. If there ever were a true “what would Jesus do” moment, this would be it. The next time you find yourself in a position of power choose encouragement over intimidation, response over reaction and above all let Love be your motivation.
Ephesians 6:4 – Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.
Ephesians 6:9 – Masters, do the same to them, and stop your threatening, knowing that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and that there is no partiality with him.