KING ON THE HILL
Haman added. “I’m the only person Queen Esther invited to accompany the king to the banquet she gave. And she has invited me along with the king tomorrow. 13 But all this gives me no satisfaction as long as I see that Jew Mordecai sitting at the king’s gate.” Esther 5: 12-13
We might assume that a promotion would put Haman in such a good mood that he would forget the offenses of one man. Not a chance! The honor Haman received from Esther’s invitations to dinner turned sour in his mouth because of the memory of Mordecai’s behavior. He just couldn’t forget it as his pride was sorely injured. The wound was deep and he was hopeful that a rise to power would give him the means to convert his hatred into an action plan.
Power can be an opiate. I can be tempted to enjoy its privileges, not because I want to serve others, but because there are things in me that I assume it will get healed apart from God.
- If I was never validated as a child, I can view prestige as a cure for deep-seated insecurity. I foolishly believe that the praise of other people will compensate for not having received the validation of my parents. It never will.
- If I have been misunderstood and misjudged in my adult life, I perceive an honor as probable vindication. I can believe that the ones who misunderstood me will change their mind once they learn of my advancement. It usually doesn’t work that way.
- If I have been the victim of unfairness, I will welcome power as a means to exact justice. I may even believe I’m doing God’s work by taking action against evil and forcing good. The problem is, my definition of good is really steeped in a need for untimely justice. I view advancement as a tool to satisfy old prejudices.
The principle is this. My leadership is shaped by the good and the bad in me. If I fail to deal with dark shadows from the past, they will accompany me throughout my lifetime and infect every major decision. Even though I could potentially sit in a place of great honor, childish behavior threatens to rule my conduct. There is no daily discipline more pressing than asking God to search my heart to reveal traces of wickedness. God wants to raise up a righteous leader who can hear the Spirit’s direction without impediment. Sin deceives. Sin blinds. Sin deafens. I can’t afford the price tag.
You’ve put me in a position to affect many people. I do not want to use power ruthlessly and I have no idea the damage I can do. I embrace sanctification. Amen.