Use power carefully

Don’t you hate getting jerked around by small-minded government officials who seem to enjoy making you jump through hoops? Do you hate to wait? Don’t you hate getting “put in your place” when people in power make you feel small and powerless?

Power corrupts, as Lord Acton said. But it’s not only the super rich who can take advantage of the poor. Plenty of middle-class and even working-class people have opportunities to take advantage of those in society who are farther down the social and economic ladder than they.

Remember that the lowest in society have a special protector in God: “He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God” (Proverbs 14:31). If you work in HR, if you do hiring and firing for your department or company, remember the human value of the worker as well as corporate interests. God gives some people surpluses not to fuel their materialism but to position them for mercy to those who are struggling to survive.

That doesn’t mean that you have to fork over $5 to every panhandler who hustles you on the street. It does mean that God encourages you not to take advantage of people with less financial and social and political power. It does mean that everyone you meet was created, loved, and redeemed by God. Same as you.

Pastor Mark Jeske has been bringing the Word of God to viewers of Time of Grace since the program began airing in late 2001. A Milwaukee native, Pastor Jeske has served as the senior pastor at St. Marcus, a multicultural congregation on Milwaukee’s near north side since 1980. In addition, he is the author of six books and dozens of devotional booklets on various topics.

 

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