“By [Wisdom] princes rule, and nobles, and all who judge rightly.”
– Proverbs 8:16 (NIV)
“A divine decision is in the lips of the king; his mouth should not err in judgment.”
– Proverbs 16:10 (NIV)
by Dr. Larry Poland
All professionals recognize that people at the top of their industries possess significant power and influence. Stories of the use and misuse of this power are everywhere. Sometimes, the lust for this power becomes an intoxicant — a seductive potion to the powerless. And the misuse of this power destroys lives.
It is less common for those of us lower on the food chain to realize that the power and authority we hold can also be a weapon to destroy or a tool to build. We may forget that God is the one who sets people in positions of responsibility and holds them accountable for the way they use their power and authority. Romans 13:1 declares that “there is no authority except that which God has established.” If this is true in general, how much more is this true of the authority loaned to those who are children of the King.
Wisdom Principle #33: All authority – in home, office or elsewhere – vests with God and is loaned to us as a sacred trust to be used as He would use it for His purposes alone.
When I once told an employee with a major Hollywood studio that one of the top execs was a Christian, he said, “I’ve never liked her, and I am really surprised to hear that.” I know the woman well, and I doubt that she used her authority in an evil or capricious manner. It is possible, however, that she operated in a manner so similar in fashion to that of the non-Christian execs that there was no qualitative difference. This, in itself, is an indictment. Proverbs 16:10 above makes it clear that authority should be channel for passing along “divine decisions” and in a manner that is unerringly trustworthy.
Wisdom Principle #34: Authority in the hands of a believer is neither a bludgeon to pound others into submission nor a knife to cut them down; it is a divinely designed instrument of guidance and instruction for building them.
Ask yourself regularly, “Do I exercise my authority in a manner that reflects the One from whom it comes?” “Do those under my authority see God’s wisdom and character in me and in the way I handle my power over them?” If the answer is “no,” don’t be surprised if God takes his authority back!