For the past couple of weeks the Western World is marveling at a modern day dictator in Europe again. Of course, the joke, is that Putin has been acting as a dictator for some time though he’s now seemingly going full…. He apparently never heard the warnings from Robert Downey Jr.’s character in Tropic Thunder.
It surprises us to see dictators in 2022 because it’s pretty well documented that they end up going down spectacularly almost every single time (Franco being the exception?). It’s also surprising because dictatorship seems to be the opposite path to establishing a legacy as a great leader of a great country. It frequently destroys that very same country and sadly, as we are seeing, other countries around it.
Therefore many conclude Putin must have lost his mind. Yet, don’t write him off as some alien evil anomaly quite yet. You may have a lot more in common with him than you care to admit.
Dictators are so bent on fulfilling their will and their vision that they eventually can’t handle criticism or opposing view points. They have to shut critics down not only for themselves but they are frightened that everyone around them might be turned against them. They have to eventually force their will upon others with violence. They need to surround themselves with yes men. They eventually need to artificially create a world that confirms them everywhere they go. If there is a god in their worldview, that god, even if they think of themselves as Christian, must confirm every desire they have. Oftentimes the dictator forces or convinces his minions to declare him god of their little universe.
There is a little dictator in all of us. The coup began in Eden when Adam and Eve revolted and claimed for a moment to be God in the garden. They hoped, ironically, God’s creation, the fruit, would get them there.
We struggle to be gods and dictators in our gardens today. We want to do what we want to do. When God’s law or even nature doesn’t conform, we make it conform. We will force it to conform. We will silence opposition. We will surround ourselves with those who applaud us. We will listen to God when He says stuff we like. We will twist His words to make them sound like us. We will throw a temper tantrum when we don’t get what we want.
Repent you little Hitlers. You little Antichrists
Where do you think you’re going when the bombs fall and the storms land?
It’s for you too.
Jesus loves dictators, too.
You can learn the hard way or easy. You will learn. God is God. You are not. You would never get on that cross. You would never turn the other cheek. You would never die for your enemy.