This week we will engage with Janet Hagberg’s book Real Power. Hagberg’s model might interest you as a way to interpret the world; it might offer a tool to interpret your own development or your interactions with others. Listen to the Spirit as she loves you even as you are today.

Today’s Bible Reading

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Philippians 2:1-11

More Thoughts for Meditation

“This book is about power, real power, the kind of inner power you develop after you think you have everything figured out. And it is about true leadership, transformational leadership that allows you to go beyond ego and gender to lead from your soul.

“Is power good, bad, corrupting, polluting, dangerous, controlling, or freeing? Because all of these descriptions are true to some extent, the concept of power becomes all the more complex.

Real Power is about people becoming more than externally ‘powerful’; it is about people becoming personally powerful. Personal power results from combining external power (the capacity for action) with internal power (the capacity for reflection).

“This model of personal power includes six distinct stages, occurring in this order:

  • Stage One: Powerlessness.
  • Stage Two: Power by Association.
  • Stage Three: Power by Achievement.
  • Stage Four: Power by Reflection.
  • The Wall (a stopping point between stages four and five)
  • Stage Five: Power by Purpose.
  • Stage Six: Power by Wisdom

“Let me say a word to those who do not like to be categorized. I don’t like to be categorized either. So try to have patience with me as you read along, and be forgiving of the possible oversimplification the model represents. Life is more complicated than this model makes it appear. Yet the beauty of its model is its simplicity.”

Real Power, Janet Hagberg, pages xv – xxxiii

Suggestions for Action

What is your relationship with power?

You have likely wielded power and also had it wielded on you.

Can you think of an experience where you observed power used to bring life, to nurture others?

Can you think of an instance where you have experience power abused, to advance death, to harm others?

How do you perceive the way God wields power?

Pray – help me feel your love and know your good work in me.