"Power tends to corrupt; absolute power corrupts absolutely." The statement was made by Lord Acton, a British historian who lived around 1900. The basic understanding of this phrase is that a person's sense of morality lessens as his or her power increases. In other words, the more powerful a person becomes, the more they feel free to do whatever they want. Absolute power is a far more dangerous weapon than a nuclear bomb. Absolute power is the breeding ground for absolute corruption along with every crime imaginable.
When a group grants its founder or president absolute power, that group has just signed its death sentence. History is filled with innumerable examples of people starting out with pure motives at the bottom of the hill, but by the time they reach the top they are thoroughly corrupted. Power has an awful way of ruining people, just like its companions-wealth and fame. Together, this unholy trinity has ruined countless lives and demolished scores of companies, churches, organizations and even countries.
It would be rare indeed to find a person with humble beginnings, who became wildly successful in this life, and still remains humble. The overwhelming majority of people allow money, fame and power to change them from the inside out. Their motives change, and then their entire lives change. Once a person tastes the sweet water of success, they not only will never go back to where they once were, they will strive even harder for greater success. This never ending spiral leads to first over-confidence and ends with pure arrogance.
Once a person has proven he is able to make scads of money, enjoy positions of influence and have adoring throngs worship his every move; the trap has been sprung and there is usually no escape. Power invigorates and enables people to "push" harder than ordinary people ever could. Ever wonder how politicians running for President seemingly never rest? How they run all over the country with seemingly endless energy and stamina. How they never seem to get tired. Once power gets in a person's blood, it stimulates them as no drug could ever do.
The quest for fame and fortune drives people as no other motivator on earth. A person who has made up their mind that they are going to be on top no matter what, is a person to genuinely be afraid of. Think of the motorist who is absolutely determined to be freed from the pack of slow drivers so he can go 100 miles per hour. This driver will tailgate, honk the horn, blink the lights and if all else fails-drive on the shoulder or median, to get to the front of the pack. These aggressive drivers cause thousands of accidents every year. So it is with those whose only quest is to be "number one".
Ethics melt like ice cream in the summer sun when the opportunity for advancement presents itself. People will do just about anything to win. The competitive drive is so great that cheating becomes commonplace and the doors to fraud and extortion open wide. Ironclad morals are compromised in the name of success. Unspeakable breeches of conduct are excused by the old adage "the end justifies the means". In other words, the quest for power does indeed corrupt even the noblest people.
The "me first at any cost" mentality has driven this once great country to its knees. In just about every category, there is a waiting line of people who all feel they have what it takes to be "the Donald's" next apprentice. People are willing to sell their very souls, along with those of their parents, kids and spouse to get to the front of the line. What on earth could be so appealing about being "top dog" to justify totally compromising every principle of honesty and integrity on earth? What could possibly be the prize to warrant the sacrifice of loved ones to the almighty gods of money, fame and power?
The answer is really quite simple. Once a person climbs the ladder and is on top, there is no one left to tell them what they can and cannot do. The entire constraint system is now in their hands instead of someone else's. They are finally free to enjoy the fruits of their labor and to do as they please. Living in the lap of luxury is only part of the allure, being waited upon and adored are components also. Ultimately that which presents itself as the "prize" is nothing more and nothing less than achieving the position of GOD. That's right; the aim of absolute power is to be GOD.
Man's unquenchable thirst for power is equal to man's eternal desire to be god. The idea of a real God in heaven who dictates what is right and wrong repulses the natural man. Man does not want to submit to a higher authority; he wants to be that higher authority. Man has no need for a god who demands worship, loyalty and thanksgiving. Man wants worship, loyalty and adoration; thus, man wants to be god. Man wants the accolades of discovering a cure for some disease. Man wants the credit for bringing peace to the earth. Man wants the first place trophy and all the award money that goes with it.
This world is filled to overflowing with evil and corrupt men and women who have sold their lives to the devil in return for success in this life. Is the sacrifice of eternal life to attain temporal gain really worth it? Evidently it must be, for there are literally millions upon millions of people who have done this very thing. Every day, thousands of desperate people succumb to the temptation laid before them of material wealth and the power it can purchase. Every day, thousands of people flush an eternity of joy, peace and love down the devil's toilet.
Money can buy any material thing on earth. Everything has a price tag, including most people. Dangle enough money in front of a person and they will do just about anything. The devil is the shrewd expert of manipulation, temptation and persuasion. He is the greatest salesman who ever lived, for he can persuade someone to forfeit an eternity with God for a few years of material bliss. To ever withstand his offers, a person must be rock solid in their commitment to the truth and absolutely persuaded that God is right and the devil is wrong.
Look around you and take note of the people who seem to "have it all". They have more money than they can spend, live in homes big enough to house a small city, own six or seven vehicles and dress in the top of the line attire. Yes, these people seem to have everything a person could ever want, but as we know, they are lacking the most important thing of all--GOD. As times grow darker and more people fall into financial straits in this country, the allure of prosperity will only shine brighter. I can assure you that the devil is ready to launch a huge recruiting blitz shortly.
I wish I could plaster 1 Timothy chapter 6 upon every wall in every city. There is nothing new under the sun, and the same things Paul was confronting almost 2000 years ago still run rampant today. People still sell out to the devil and people still think they are justified in doing so. People still want to be rich at the expense of their own eternal destiny. People are still purchasing one way tickets to hell just to enjoy the "lifestyles of the rich and famous" going there.
I pray God still has a few folks left who haven't bowed their knees to Baal. I pray there are still a few of us left standing who would rather die than compromise the truth. So what if we don't have much in this life; we have eternity to enjoy all the riches of God! When life ends and every person is laid out on their deathbed; all the wealth, fame and power in the world is not going to stop that person from taking their last breath. Money cannot buy life and money cannot stop death.
Power does indeed tend to corrupt, and absolute power absolutely corrupts. That is why, as for me and my household, we will be content with such as we have and seek to live a quiet and peaceful life in all godliness and honesty. Those who are intent on spending eternity in need of air conditioning can spend this life in hot pursuit of wealth, fame and power. They can have it, for I sure don't want any of it.
Excellent blog! Praise God truth still exists. We can be sure God has His remnant who have not compromised and will not compromise. His Word is Truth and the final chapter assures us God will always have His remnant of faithful believers. I pray in these last days that God will pour out His Spirit on the faithful remnant empowering them to preach the Gospel so the ranks of the faithful will increase with a multitude of true conversions.
Praise be to God who alone is good.
Blessings from NC