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Beware the power trip

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2:3-4).

I read this verse this past Monday morning – the day where I was starting my second week as an XP. I have worked hard both personally and professionally for me to arrive at this point as an XP, a position that I believe fits my passions, gifts and call quite well.

But there are two temptations that God used this passage to reveal to me. First, there is the temptation to think that I’ve earned this or that I deserve it. Yes, I have worked (and will continue to work) hard to excel in my pastoral ministry. That does not, however, mean that I deserve this new position. God has seen, for the glory of his own name, to move me into this position. This is about him, not me. And second, with a staff now entrusted to me, I must be aware of the temptation of power. This position carries with it positional power to make decisions. I must walk in humility, trusting those around me and as their servant, helping them to succeed.

Yet, for both of those temptations, the antidote is to remember the overwhelming grace that has been extended to me in Christ and to consider others better than myself. “God, please, make me a student of those around me and give me the humility to lead as a servant. And through my ministry, I pray that you will be pleased to grow your kingdom and make your fame known to the ends of the earth. Amen.”

Interact: What area of life are you tempted to wield power instead of humbly considering others better than yourself?


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