Power has almost always resulted in corruption by those who hold it. From the moment Adam and Eve were tempted in the Garden of Eden when Satan told them they would become like gods right until now when we see politicians, leaders in industry and many others at best avoiding answers and at worst telling absolute lies.
The reasons are simple:
First, man is weak. When tempted it is easy to give in. When a man or woman who has great power gives in to temptation, the effect is great.
Secondly, the devil is in control.
When tempting Jesus at the end of his 40 day fast in the dessert we read:
‘Then leading him to a great height, the devil showed him in a moment of time all the kingdoms of the world and said to him, “I will give you all this power and their splendour, for it has been handed over to me, for me to give to anyone I choose.”’ Luke 4: 5-6.
As a result of the devil being in control, ‘Worldly power is based upon accusation, division, adversarial relationships, and lies. It’s the way that earthly rulers have always done their business.’ (Fr Robert Barron).
We all wield power at one level or another, parents over children; supervisors over workers; even priests over parishioners. In order for temptation and corruption to be avoided, such power must be exercised with love and with Christ at the centre of our lives.