“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.”Therefore, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)

Jesus never preached that we should strive for personal power. Instead, He preached the practice of kenosis: the emptying of ourselves of self to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. His power is made full in our weakness of self. Yet, it is hard for us mere mortals to relinquish our egos and give God free reign. We like power. We like to play God, rather than to submit to and love God. We tell God what we want Him to do, like the mother of the sons of Zebedee did when she requested her two sons sit at His left and right hand. (Matthew 20:21) We like to control other people rather than attempt the messy and sometimes painful process of loving them where they are on their path. Rather than listen to people share with us who they really are, we shut them down by telling them what we want them to think, feel or do. We are uncomfortable with intimacy and vulnerability. Yet the whole life of Jesus was about these two very things.

Personal power is a sure ticket out of recovery. It cuts us off from God’s power. It cuts us off from healthy, intimate relationships. When we find our egos running the show, we need to relinquish ourselves to God. Over and over, and over again. We need to ensure that love is our guiding principle, not personal power, just as Jesus lived and instructed.