Robert Green Ingersoll (1833-1899), a jurist and staunch Republican, wrote an essay in 1884 in which he outlines the traits and virtues of President Abraham Lincoln. In his essay, Ingersoll says: “Nothing discloses real character like the use of power.”

He goes on to say, “It is easy for the weak to be gentle. Most people can bear adversity. But if you wish to know what a man really is, give him power. This is the supreme test. It is the glory of Lincoln that, having almost absolute power, he never abused it, except upon the side of mercy.”

Kamri Michael, from the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library Foundation, had this to say: “Someone with any sort of power is more likely to act like themselves, than someone without power… Someone without power could easily fake their true character to fit in or avoid being judged. People often act differently than who they really are to please society. People who have more power have a better opportunity to judge someone than people without power… Different forms of power can be what kind of job they have, where they live, and how much money they have. Some people feel as if power can make or break a person. I, on the other hand, feel that a true person’s character is what counts, not the power they have. Unfortunately, people don’t always act themselves until they get that power.”

For me, when I examine the passion of Christ, especially during His betrayal, beating, mocking, trial, and crucifixion, and realize He had the power to call 12 legions of angels to His defense, but He took it all without striking back either verbally or physically, that shows me His real character by the way He used His power. What a great example He is to all those today in power. – Dr. Robert R Seyda

About drbob76

Retired missionary, pastor, seminary professor, Board Certified Chaplain and American Cancer Society Hope Lodge Director.
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