I am writing this on President’s Day.

I admit that this is not one of the big holidays but in the Maier house it tends to get more recognition. You see, my boys and I really love American History. When I left for work today, they were watching the history channel about the various presidents who have served our country (“Dad, who was Millard Fillmore?”). 

I enjoy American history so much that ten years ago I started reading biographies of the Presidents. I am currently on Eisenhower but I keep getting side tracked. This year my boys and I had a unique way to celebrate, for this was the 100thanniversary of the Boy Scouts camping at Valley Forge on President’s Day weekend. My oldest spent two nights in a tent with over 4, 000 other Boy Scouts from all over the country, while I marched (and marched) around with my younger two on Saturday. In addition to all the explosions and re-enactments, it was a wonderful time reflecting again on the sacrifices of those early days of our nation.

One presentation was about George Washington and gave reminders on how, despite the nations desire to make him emperor for life, he refused to serve more than two terms as president. He actually relinquished power (how many of us would do that?).

One of the books I read about the presidents claimed that every single American president has been a power-hungry narcissist (even the “good” ones) – with one exception. You guessed it, the exception was George Washington. Power can be so addictive. How many of us are satisfied with the relatively little amount of power we have? Don’t we all want more? And what happens when we get it? We usually want even more.  Most of us will never be president of the United States but we will serve as pastors, teachers, counselors, church planters, and even seminary professors.

Before we end up too enamored with power, may we remember and reflect on the words of Peter in 1 Peter 5:1-4.

Bryan Maier, Psy. D.  is an Associate Professor of Counseling & Psychology in the Masters of Arts in Counseling Program at Biblical. He maintains a private practice at Diane Langberg & Associates.


0 #2 Drew Hart 2012-03-05 16:59
I recently read about how Washington "got around" anti-slavery laws in PA by rotating blacks from PA to the south and back again. The objective of the post is a good one, as Pastors we must keep watch of our propensity to abuse power. Unfortunately, as a young black male, I can't affirm the usage of Washington to get that particular point across, given his oppressive uses of power, despite local state law.
-1 #1 Kyuboem Lee 2012-03-05 07:48
A much needed correction for those in power--ministry or otherwise; thank you.

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