Abuse of Power

power And he wrote in the letter, saying, “Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck down and die.” ~ 2 Samuel 11:15Pittacus wrote, “The measure of a man is what he does with power.” Second Samuel 11 tells the story of a king who forgot that leaders wield power for one reason only – to serve. Consider the “Path to Abusive Power” in leaders:

Stage One: Surprise – “I get this?”
Stage Two: Self-Esteem – “I need this.”
Stage Three: Satisfaction – “I deserve this.”
Stage Four: Selfishness – “I demand this.”

By watching King David weave a tangled web following his sin with Bathsheba, we notice five common abuses of power that still trip up leaders today. Calvin Miller describes them this way:

  1. Drifting away from those disciplines we still demand of our people.
  2. Believing that others owe us whatever use we can make of them.
  3. Attempting to fix things up rather than make things right.
  4. Refusing to accept that we could be blindly out of God’s will.
  5. Believing that people in our way are expendable.

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