An unusual list called The 100 Least Powerful People in the World appeared in the online publication 24/7 Wall St. Among those selected were corporate executives, sports figures, politicians, and celebrities who shared one common characteristic—­they used to be powerful. Some were victims of circumstances, others made poor business decisions, while others lost their influence because of moral failure.

In 1 Corinthians 10, Paul draws a somber lesson from Old Testament history. The people Moses led from slavery in Egypt toward freedom in the Promised Land kept turning their backs on God who had delivered them (vv.1-5). Idolatry, immorality, and grumbling were among the things that brought them down (vv.6-10). Paul points to their collapse as an example to us, and sounds this warning: “Let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall” (v.12).

Every follower of Jesus can stand firm on God’s promise: “He will see to it that every temptation has a way out, so that it will never be impossible for you to bear it” (v.13 Phillips). All of us have power to influence others in their faith. How tragic to squander it by yielding to a temptation that God has empowered us to resist.