Why do people love power so much?
Why do some people conquer others, enslave others?
Why do some people become dictators?
Why do some people run for president, even if it’s just president of the homeowner’s association?
Because people love power. We love to feel a sense of control. And the biggest variable in our lives, the thing that makes us feel the most out of control is other people.
That’s why some marriage break down. Because both people are vying for control, trying to get the upper hand.
It’s why churches split. Because someone is trying to get control of the group who should not.
The love of power brings down companies, empires and marriages.
On Sunday, we were discussing what Jesus was doing in the garden at Gethsemane, how he is resisting evil with every fiber of his being. And yet, when the guards come for him, he doesn’t break free or get control of the situation. He submits. We all know about non-violent resistance. Well Jesus practices non-violent non-resistance.
He empties himself of all power.
Ordinary humans aren’t so good at that. Even when we say “hate the sin, love the sinner,” the hate part tends to overshadow the love part, and we go on another quest to control others. Jesus, on the other hand, hates sin and evil so much, that he refuses to do anything to take away evil’s power over him.
The thing about power is that it is always tempting and always fleeting. We humans are able to feel very puffed up when we come into an exceedingly small amount of it. And yet, no matter how much of it we ever get, it never feels like enough, because there are still people who are outside our control.
So if our agenda this week includes gaining more power, maybe we should recalibrate our priorities.