Proverbs 29

With Power Comes Responsibility.

“When the godly are in authority, the people rejoice. But when the wicked are in power, they groan.” – Proverbs 29:2 NLT

All of us long for power in some form or fashion. The thought of being weak and powerless is naturally repulsive to most of us. And the truth is, we all experience some kind of authority over someone or something else. The question is – how do we handle power when we have it? Are we fair and just or do we wield our power with pride, arrogance and in an abusive manner? Authority is a divine concept and God holds those in authority responsible for their actions. God gave Adam and Eve special responsibilities to care for and have authority over the creation. God gave Abraham authority as the father of a nation of people chosen by God. God gave Moses authority to lead those very same people out of captivity and into freedom. He gave the prophets authority to act as His spokespersons and proclaim His word to His rebellious people. God gave the disciples authority over demons, disease and even death. But all authority can be abused. We can utilize our positions of power or influence for good or bad. A parent can abuse their child, using their authority to destroy the heart and soul of the one they are to nurture and love. A boss can abuse their responsibility, taking advantage of his employees, overworking them while he underpays them. Politicians and rulers can abuse their authority, ignoring the needs of their constituents in favor of maintaining their party’s power and their own position.

The Proverbs have a lot to say about authority and Proverbs 29 is no exception. We are reminded that godly leadership is the best form of leadership. It causes those under it to rejoice. While the leadership of the ungodly produces pain and heartache in those who must bear up under it. According to God, the kind of leadership or authority He is looking for is just, fair, compassionate, and caring. In other words, God expects those with authority over others to practice His brand of leadership. He wants them to lead the way He leads. That means we must lead through love. We must discipline on occasion, but always out of love. We must judge at times, but always with love. We must guide and direct those under our care, but out of love, not anger.

Authority is a huge responsibility. Ultimately, those in authority will be held responsible by God for their actions. There is no place for pride, selfishness, greed, or self-gain. Those who hold positions of authority exist for the good of others. They hold the welfare of others in their hands, whether they lead a nation or a family. God watches over the helpless, hopeless, innocent, and powerless. He will hold those in authority responsible for the manner in which they rule, judge, lead, care for, and protect those under their care. And anyone who holds a position of authority is wise to recognize and to constantly remind themselves that God is the ultimate authority. He is the one who is in control of all things. All others report to Him. They owe their positions to Him. They get their right to rule from Him. So rule well. Lead wisely. Practice authority responsibly.

Father, the world is filled with irresponsible leaders who abuse their roles and take advantage of their authority, to the detriment of those under their care. Help me to see any authority I may have as God-given and to use it wisely, knowing full well that I am under Your authority. Amen.

Ken Miller

Grow Pastor & Minister to Men