Power could be many things. Movies often tell a story about powerful being the best people to shoot or fight. Look at Statham, Bruce Willis, Clint Eastwood and the rest of the tough guys. The real men!? With guns and muscles to help getting their will… Tough.
The backside of this glamor violence is when we look at it in real life: People who are beaten healthless by teens in blind “happy slapping”, or the mother who gets another black eye from her boyfriend. One can ask whether it really is a show of power when we are so helpless that we can’t get out of conflicts within ourselves or With others without violence. Well, its undeniably a form of power, but its simultaneously rather helplessly and pathetic. Pherhaps we can say this really is a form of external power, more than a personal, inner authority?
Let us dwell a bit more on external power. This is a kind of influence onto others that really deprives us of Our true inner strength and reduces us. One thing is physical strength and the use of fear. Another form for external Power is sexual Power. The Commercials say that Axe will make men magnetically attractive, and eyeliners give women irresistible eyes. Pop girls inserting Silicon in their tits to sell music, and when a new record is released the record company is advertising that we will see the artist sexier than ever before…
But who’ve got the power here, is it Janet Jackson and Britney Spears or a cynical system to optimize sales? Or is the power in the sexualized culture itself? Is it the nameless culture that’s in control or we? Do we have power when we are slaves of fashion and bully the one that stands out? Is there power to tail behind what other think is cool? Since we are so afraid of each other, since we are bombarded with propaganda in relation to politics, products, morality, since we all are shaped by the world around us; do we have some power over our lives? Do we have power over our environment? Ephesians 4, 14 comes to mind: So we shall no longer be immature, not tossed here and there and run with the Wind, not tossed here and there and run with the wind from any doctrine, so we become prey for mens fake games and deceitful tricks.”
What you answer yourself to that question, is directly affecting the real answer! Our response tho this is to a large extent a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we decide to actively reduce the external power that we are often manipulated to follow, we will increase our inner authority accordingly. If you think you can do anything – through activism as for instance Red Cross or the World Wildlife Foundation, through daring having Your own opinion when its uncool, throughe protesting when someone is bullying the “twits”, through saying no when a no is right. When we do Things like that, then we are showing real, individual and uniqe Power. If we don’t think we mean something we obliterates our own positive influence! But even then we – through our acquiescence – still have practiced influence on others, but in a passive, less conscient and often negative way.
Much around us affects us in a negative way, striving to reduce our inner strength and authority. But are there some spiritual forces outside ourself that can give us extra power, ala various superheroes or maybe like John Travolta in Phenomenon? Or is there anything that can separate us from our own power ala possessed people in movies? Here we are coming over toe the realm of faith. Many religions assume we can be possessed by dangerous forces. The Bible tells about a counterforce to God who has great power in this world, that is adept at seducing people. Christians believe one can get protection against this seductive power through not spiritually not being open to it, and through comtting their lives to God.
A little question at the end: Should we have Power? Matt 20, 26-28 say: “You know that people’s rulers are masters of them, and the mighty men rule over them by force. Not so among you. Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave. Such is not the Son of Man he has not come to be served, but to serve and give his life a ransom for many.” And then we can read 2. Corinthians 12, 9-10: “My grace is enough for you, for power is made perfect in weakness. Therefore I will gather glory in my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. And therefore I am for Christ sake of good cheer when I am weak … For when I am weak, then I am strong. ” We can compare with Matt 18, 4: “Greater is he who humbles himself” and Mark 9, 35b: “Whoever wants to be the greatest, must be last of all and servant of all.”