Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power. Abraham Lincoln US president (1809-65)

I am painfully aware that the times of earthly success, easy money and triumph in everything that I do……..are the times when I am the worst disciple of Jesus. Subconsciously I obviously start believing that I CAN do it in my own strength. And then, sooner or later, I fail. And I turn back to God, apologise and ask for help. Actually, I realise as I write this, that this has happened very recently. I was doing deal after deal and earning the money to build the ‘Hospital in the Hills’ and whilst I was thanking God……I was also thinking how wonderful I am. 2 weeks ago two of the deals went ‘wrong’, I turned to God, trusted him and they are now back on track. I hadn’t figured that out till now. Who the heck am I to preach to anyone? Physician heal thyself! But I do hope that my manifold mistakes and weaknesses can be of some help to others.

I’ve been pondering success and corruption a lot recently. I have reached a state of total despair over Western politicians. From Blair to Cameron to Sarkozy to Obama……all I can see is self-advancement and self-protection. And it pains me to write that about Obama. What goes wrong when a man called to serve ends up politicking? Depressing stuff huh?

And as I wallowed in a slough of despond about power and the way that it weakens mens’ characters………I thought about Jesus. Now this was a man with power. In earthly terms………he was the preacher and teacher of the moment; many of his people thought he had come to lead them in battle against the Romans and to the freedom they yearned for; thousands flocked miles to hear him speak; and complete strangers praised him as the Messiah…..the son of God. And that wasn’t all – God had given him such power that people were healed just by touching him. He could calm the storm, give the blind sight, make the lame walk – and even raise the dead. And yet what was virtually his last act of freedom?

He washed his followers’ feet. Including the man who minutes later he knew would betray him to a crown of thorns, whips, floggings and agonising death as he suffocated on the cross.

Cameron, Obama, Sarkozy, Blair……………less power, less adulation, less authority – and yet all corrupted to a greater or lesser extent by the power they have. Jesus, powerful beyond compare – humble yet strong, brave, innocent and perfect: even to the end. I know who I choose as my role model.