Power and Control and Manipulation.
How can this not create all kinds of problems for the professing Church? I don't know, but it is the situation we find ourselves in. Anyone attempting to control through means of power and manipulation will end up caught in a trap that will twist everything they touch and everything about them personally and they won't even be aware of it.
Most people are left in that place for their entire life because most people never step back from their lives so as to honestly assess their existence. Power and control have already formed a crust around their soul.
Jesus is to be the one we are following. He refused to use these terrors. The kingdom of heaven's power looks like weakness along side the kingdom of the world's power. One leads to life and the other has no life in it at all and has no hope of ever producing life. I think we must understand that paradox is reality for those hidden with Christ in God?
It is impossible to really ever be there for anyone if we do not approach them disarmed from Power....Control....and Manipulation.
It think these were things we were to leave behind when we responded to the call to follow Jesus.
Richard Rohr in his book Hope Against Darkness has this to say about the condition we are left in if we do not disarm from the use of power, control and manipulation.
"The first gaze is seldom compassionate. It is too busy weighing and feeling itself: "How will this effect me?" or "How does my self-image demand that I react to this?" or "How can I get back in control of this situation?" This leads to an implosion, a self preoccupation that cannot enter into communion with the other or the moment. In other words, we first feel our feelings before we can relate to the situation and the emotion of the other. Only after God has taught us how to live "undefended" can we immediately stand with and for the other, and for the moment. It takes a lot of practice."
It takes the cross and resurrection and a willingness to lay it all down so we can be those that reflect Jesus to a world that only knows Power, Control, and Manipulation.