7. They often compromise their ethical values

Whatever ethical values they have go out the window if they believe it will help them get into a position of power. For ex- ample, some prominent political leaders in our nation (former Vice President Al Gore and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, to name a couple) were once pro-life when it comes to abortion, but turned pro-choice when they thought it would help them gain traction in their political party. Also, I know of a prominent pastor who once believed in the inspirational integrity of Scripture, but jettisoned his biblical beliefs when he became the senior pastor of a prominent, historic land- mark church. What good is your position of power if you are not going to follow your convictions of right and wrong?

8. They have few boundaries to maintain personal and family health

Power-hungry people are constantly on the go and have very little time for personal reflection, renewal, or emotional health. Furthermore, they often are so driven that they cheat their spouses and children out of the precious quality time their family needs. They are always on the phone cutting deals, solving problems, and trying to accomplish the next big thing!

9. They are only loyal to themselves

Power-hungry people are narcissists who have a need to control their environment, their friends, and their futures, which means that ultimately they are only loyal to one person: themselves! They only have people in their inner circles who flatter them and never challenge their egos. They usually don’t have close friends, hobnobbing mostly with other power people. In such associations, both people know they are merely using one another to obtain or maintain their power.

10. They head up organizations for stature rather than service

They will go from one church to another, or one position to another, based on which organization will give them the largest platform and most influence. It is never about God’s calling but more about influence, public exposure, and proximity to power.

Money is another important issue to them; however, they deem position and influence as more important than money because they believe in the long run more influence will bring in more money anyway!

11. They exaggerate their value

When I am with power-hungry people, I usually take every word they say regarding their influence and accomplishments with a grain of salt. Their main objective is to impress me rather than give me an accurate picture of their lives. For example, I have been with leaders who told me about how large their organizations are, but I have never seen them able to draw a crowd of people anywhere near the numbers they tout. They have erected a symbolic house of straw that they tout as if it were the new Freedom Tower that stands in lower Manhattan!

12. They have a superficial inner life

Power-hungry people usually live in denial as to their real motives and, thus, usually do not allow the searing hot conviction of the Holy Spirit to operate in their souls.

Consequently, they do not have much of a prayer life, do not enter into deep worship, and rarely read the Scriptures—except if they need to put a sermon together or quote passages for a political speech. Furthermore, they attempt to use God for their own ends instead of dying to self and serving God for His own ends and glory. Many actually are so deceived they think God is playing this game with them and is actually empowering them to get more and more attention and power. Little do they realize that Satan is also involved in their lives and setting them up for a huge failure or fall in the future, which can decimate their lives, families, careers, and organizations.

May the Lord help us all to see the above issues we are all grappling with. May all of us be honest with ourselves and our God so we can be delivered from our unholy ambitions and lay down our crowns at the feet of Jesus.

May we also avoid the trap of seeking such power and influence that we become the worst of leaders: abusive, domineering, and controlling people who personify the old adage “My way or the highway!” That is the subject of the next chapter.

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