It is rare to find a person possessing great political power who has the ability to always remain gracious. Jesus expressed the perfect balance of grace and power. One day the disciples started fighting among themselves as to which of them would be the greatest. Jesus, knowing their thoughts took a little child and had him stand beside him. Then he said to the disciples, "Whoever welcomes
this little child in my name welcomes me... For he who is least among you all - he is the greatest." (Luke 9:46-48) Most people let power go to their head. To remain humble when you have achieve greatness is a feat few seem to manage well. Let us look at the Christ's secret for keeping a perfect balance between being powerful and being gracious.
1. Jesus remembered where the source of His power and grace came from. The Lord did not allow himself to think too highly of himself because He knew that everything He had came from God. When we consistently thank the Lord for everything we have and will ever be, then we are less apt to lose a balanced perspective, become discouraged or dabble in the non-essentials.
2. Jesus did not have to worry about people running over Him because of His balance between grace and power. Not many are able to say that they have both grace and power in perfect harmony. Occasionally, gracious people can be so meek that they become weak and are easy taken advantage of. Christ was gracious while exhibiting a power that was unlike anything people had ever witnessed. When you have a balance of grace and power you can be confident without becoming puffed up. Try modeling your conversations after Christ's perfect balance of graciousness and powerful confidence.
3. Jesus quickly corrected any attempt by the disciples to become drunk with passions for power. When the disciples argued among themselves over who would be the greatest, Jesus used a child to teach them the necessity for maintaining a gracious attitude toward everyone. No one was small enough to overlook for Jesus.
4. Jesus measured power with different criteria than most people in the world. Many people consider power by the quantity and quality of authority to command people. On the other hand, Jesus knew that His authority could only successfully be used in the context of God's will.
5. Jesus measured graciousness in terms different from most people. Not only was Jesus kind, gentle and kind to others, but also Jesus demonstrated a supernatural grace that was sufficient through all of His times of weakness, distress and persecution.
6. Jesus balanced grace and power in the way He taught and lived. Some teachers while demonstrating graciousness in the classroom seem to lack the authority to handle difficult problems. When Jesus came up twelve jealous disciples who wrestled among themselves for power, the Lord brought a humble little child before them as a model of who they should attend to. Christ taught in such a way that even little children could admire, respect and desire truth.
7. Jesus knew that people often argue over matters of power because they have not learned to be gracious. The disciples thought they could enjoy the power like those of the Pharisees or like their Roman oppressors. Not so, Jesus illustrated to them through the little child. No matter how great one becomes in the Christian life they are still required to humble themselves and graciously attend to the needs of the smallest child. Great men always remain gracious.
8. Jesus practiced balanced grace and power in all kinds of relationships. It is easy for some to be gracious around people of their own status. However, Christ showed the disciples that true grace and power are exhibited even around a child with all of their trivial needs and concerns.
9. Jesus connected a person's ability to obtain power with their ability to remain gracious. The Lord inferred that anyone who is not able to welcome little children graciously would not be welcomed or greatly rewarded by the heavenly Father. All of our deeds and attitudes follow us through out this life and the next.