Solomon taught that the eyes are never satisfied (see Proverbs 27:20). We desire one more deal, one more illicit relationship, one more achievement, one more title, one more company. Consequently, whether at work, home, in the community, or even at church, we power up on others to achieve more. We power up physically, claiming, “I’m stronger than you.” We power up mentally, saying, “I’m smarter than you.” We power up socially, thinking, “I’m more popular than you.” We power up financially, saying, “I’m richer than you.” We power up spiritually, noting, “I’m more religious than you.” We even attempt to power up on God by attempting to control our own lives. We power up, in part, from fear of losing control.
Herod the Great was harsh. He killed his favorite of ten wives, as well as three of his sons. He decreed to kill boys age two and younger when the Magi didn’t return with the location of Jesus (see Matthew 2:16). He lived to satisfy himself. Herod exerted his power over people because he desired to reveal his character and presence rather than God’s.
While few of us ever kill anyone, we are quite capable of being proud, harsh, and controlling of others when we desire to reveal our own character and presence over God’s. When we exert worldly power over those around us, the result is that they die a little inside. Truth be known, so do we.
The real King of the Jews offered an alternative to the lock of pride and its resulting harshness. He was humble and gentle (see Matthew 11:29). He was a liberator who authoritatively freed people, healed them, and gave them life, complete with access to a different kind of power. He courageously searched out others, moving toward them in relationship to uncover the love of the Father in them. His Spirit calls us to a life of the same.
Ask God to unlock your heart with humility and gentleness in order to pursue genuine relationships with those you encounter. Search for the love of the Father in them. Experience His power made perfect in your weakness.