“The greatness of a person’s power is the measure of their surrender.”
— William Booth (1829–1912)
The title of this article may be confusing to some; I need to say that upfront.
Power and surrender are not usually paired together. But they are in a Gospel setting. This is nothing new to Christians, of course. But the world is deluded when it insists on demanding and commanding for power, for that type of power is a fabrication in the mind of the purveyor. The true source of power is at the other extreme; power not through force, but through surrender.
This is about leadership. True power is leadership. And leadership is about the achievement of a charismatic respect. A good leader has followers who want to follow. A good leader has a good grasp on surrender; they know when and how to give to others. Most fundamentally, they know how important it is to give; that to give is to store up blessings for later.
Giving is an investment that multiplies in many different and unpredicted ways.
The Power in Giving
Giving is not only a material thing, but also a spiritual thing. What we give spiritually is our right of way; it’s our surrender on inconsequential issues; it’s our benefit of any doubt going their way; it’s giving when we choose to give.
Surrender is always about going the way of truth. When we’re wrong we admit it.
When we have about us the freedom to surrender—before God and through appropriate situations—we exemplify maturity. Such a spiritual maturity is a demonstration of personal power; again, this sort of personal power is nothing like the so-called personal power of the high-roller—the deluded person.
Of course, the world’s idea of power is about knowledge, authority, acquisition, influence, and control. But real personal power comes without the need of knowledge, has its authority in God, acquires only what it needs and gives the rest away, gives influence and acclaim rather than receiving it, and takes pleasure in relinquishing control so others may gain.
Real power is a gift of wisdom to know we have no power despite God.
The only power we may have is ascribed by God, and it comes from giving away power. The more power we give away through loving deeds, the more power we enjoy. It comes without any effort, whatsoever. It’s a very simple formula. It works!
When we surrender we’re a threat to no one. With nothing to gain, then we may be trusted.
Perhaps we’ve heard it said, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive.” Therein lays the secret to the true source of personal power. The more we can give ourselves away, the more personal power God pushes back our way. The more others are blessed, the more we are blessed.
© 2013 S. J. Wickham.