Power and Forgiveness: A Clash of World Views

How did the quest for power and money become the primary goals of Western societies? What thief in the night changed people’s hearts so that profit is to-die-for? Perhaps I exaggerate, but I doubt it. Do we admire those who work in soup kitchens or those who own the buildings across the city from the soup kitchen?

Do we admire the ones who care for the dying or those who can put a round ball into a round hoop and make a lot of money for doing that?

If we had the chance to be the boss or the servant, which would we choose? And do we ever think more broadly these days: that the boss ought to be the greatest servant?

I am open to correction, but I do not think I exaggerate. Money, influence, power vs. service, love, and humility.

Forgiveness includes a world view that clashes with contemporary culture. The German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche, anticipated this shift when he said that the weak forgive, the strong dominate.

Yet, forgiveness speaks truth to power. Forgiveness tells power that it will not last. Forgiveness will abide and be in this world long after the powerful meet their biological end.

Forgiveness as a counter-move to power can actually enhance well-being while power yearns for more, well, power.

Power’s ultimate goal is bankrupt. What will one do once one’s goal of power and money are fulfilled? What is the ultimate point of it all? Forgiveness’ ultimate goal is love, to put more love into the world and into hearts, including one’s own.

A clash of world views. Which would you like to see win?

Robert

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Categories: New Ideas, Our Forgiveness Blog

6 comments

  1. Sophita says:

    Amazing. The contrast is stark and we had better choose. if we do not then the dominant theme in the culture will lure us….and it will not be pretty.

  2. Irene says:

    Power seems to be winning now, but it always loses. Remember the Third Reich in Germany. It was supposed to last 1,000 years. It did not. Power eventually turns on itself and is defeated.

  3. Samantha says:

    We cannot be surprised by a dominant worldview that centers on power-seeking. Look at the ancient Hebrew writings and what do we see as the first offense on the planet? It was an attempt to be powerful enough to be all-knowing, a completely unrealistic goal. It has not gotten any easier for the world view of mercy since then. Marxism is nothing new; the quest for profit at all cost is nothing new. Forgiveness is such a counter to the quest for power.

  4. Chris says:

    I had never thought about power being such a dominant world view these days, but it does seem to be so. I wonder if professional sports’ huge appeal is due to a vicarious quest for power. We want to beat the other guy and we do so indirectly when our team wins. Winning rather than serving has taken over. So sad.

  5. Thomas says:

    People today seem so afraid to speak truth to power. They are afraid of the reaction. And so truth itself takes a beating from power. Yet, truth as you say in the post will outlast the bullying of power.

  6. Amy says:

    After reading this blog post I am more attuned to the power plays in my culture. For example, I was riding my bicycle and this guy comes roaring past in a very loud sports car. It was whirring “power.” I can’t know for sure but it seems to me that the manufacturer built that thing so that the one driving can feel powerful. He’s going to get to his destination at about the same time as other cars because of the residential speed limit but as he does, I’ll bet he “feels the power.” I wonder if the price tag on that car was worth that.

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