Lent Day 36… The Little Tyrant Inside

You need power only when you want to do something harmful. Otherwise, love is enough to get everything done. —Charlie Chaplin

Jean Vanier, in his book Community and Growth, wrote…

We are so inclined to want authority for the honor, prestige and admiration that comes with it. Inside each of us is a little tyrant who wants power and the associated prestige, who wants to dominate, to be superior and to control. We feel we are the only ones to see the truth… Christians can sometimes hide these tendencies behind a mask of virtue, doing what they do for “good” reasons. There is nothing more terrible than a tyrant using religion as his or her cover.

The little tyrant inside. Sheesh. How I wish this wasn’t true, but I know that it is.

Jesus help me to be like you…

You are not a tyrant—not a big one, not a little one.

You are the all-powerful one, and yet you choose self-sacrifice, service, love, and forgiveness as the way.

You do not fight fire with fire.

You are not the “good guy” from a 90′s era action movie hell-bent on exacting his revenge.

Instead, you are the Lamb of God, the Prince of Peace, the innocent One who goes to the cross and says, “Father forgive them.”

Help me to say no to the little tyrant (my way, my will, my ego), and instead say yes to you and your ways…

because this world already has enough tyrants, doesn’t it?



I am a husband, father, pastor, leader & reader. I love God, love people & love life.

2 Comments to Lent Day 36… The Little Tyrant Inside

  1. Ouch! Yes, I’m familiar with that tyrant–the drive to be recognized, praised, appreciated, always on the ‘giving’ side, “not needing to receive”. Controlled. I find myself in a delicate place in pursuing artistic endeavors, where the culture is all about expressing self, getting recognized, promoting self and the ultimate adulation of people purchasing what I’ve created. This, that seems at odds with godly goals of serving and bringing attention to, pointing to God through the images I take; balancing on a fine line (that is sometimes slippery) between recording and displaying God’s amazing beauty in creation and remaining His servant in humility–to promote God, not self. To follow and use what God has given me and not fall into “the pride of the flesh” while doing it. Added to your prayer, Brian, I would say “He must increase, and I must decrease.” May Christ be visible in what I create.

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