Power over Love

The older son answered his father, ‘Look! All these years I’ve been slaving for you and never disobeyed your orders. Yet you never gave me even a young goat so I could celebrate with my friends.' - Luke 15:29

The older son powers up on his dad, trying to justify his anger at his brother and trying to assert his own righteousness. But can you see behind all the bluster? Think about why he acts this way - and why we act this way. You can hear it in his language... he thinks of himself as "slaving away" for a master who gives "orders", not as a beloved son who is always in the loving presence of his dad.

This is a great summary of this perspective:

The long painful history of the Church is the history of people ever and again tempted to choose power over love, control over the cross, being a leader over being led. Those who resisted this temptation to the end and thereby give us hope are the true saints. One thing is clear to me: the temptation of power is greatest when intimacy is a threat. Much Christian leadership is exercised by people who do not know how to develop healthy, intimate relationships and have opted for power and control instead. Many Christian empire-builders have been people unable to give and receive love. - Henri Nouwen

So how about you - can you see the temptations towards control and towards power that come from your inability to deeply receive God's love? Talk with him about this, and vulnerably ask him to love you this day in a way that you can receive.