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Tuesday
Mar172015

POSITIONAL VERSUS PERSONAL POWER

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know…his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms.  —Ephesians 1:18-20

Thomas Addington writes about power in his book, Life at Work. He describes the difference between positional power and personal power.

Postional power is the ability to act on the basis of your position in a company or organization. In the corporate world, positional power is measured by a title, salary and perks. Inasmuch as positional power is external, it can come and go. He describes the President as someone who’s position provides a number of privileges that, for the most part, go away when he leaves office.

Personal power, on the other hand, is based on one’s moral authority. It flows from the inside out. Since it is tied to your reputation, if your integrity comes into question, you run the risk of losing your personal power. 

Comparing them that way might suggest that personal power is good and positional power is bad—but both types of power can be abused and both types can be leveraged to accomplish great things for God. The Bible tells stories of people who failed at both and others who were quite successful.

All that to say, that’s why we placed our faith in Jesus—He holds the ultimate position (to whom every knee willl eventually bow) and He lived His life with ultimate integrity. It should surprise no one, then, that He has ultimate power—and that He is more than capable to handly anything you might be stuggling with today.