Your Standards

Inspiration MinistriesBy Inspiration Ministries2 Minutes

While still a young man, Niccolò Machiavelli entered government service in his native Florence, Italy. Rapidly rising to prominence, he became secretary of the city’s council for military operations. Assigned to negotiate many delicate matters, he met with important leaders. Then, in 1512, when he was 44, he found himself on the wrong side of a political dispute. He was removed from office, and even imprisoned for a time.

Attempting to win favor, he began writing what he had learned about success and failure. The results are included his book, The Prince. This provided a blueprint, and justification, for expediency, deception, and even ruthlessness.

Through this and other writings, he established patterns that have been emulated worldwide. In 1827, historian Lord Thomas Babington Macaulay wrote it was impossible to read The Prince without “horror and amazement.” That it was “a display of wickedness.”

The Encarta® World English Dictionary defines “Machiavellian” as being “cunning and unscrupulous: using clever trickery, amoral methods, and expediency to achieve a desired goal.” This means being willing to do anything to get what we want.

Many people live by Machiavellian principles. But believers are reminded that these are contrary to Biblical truth. Jesus challenged us to think not about deceiving people but always doing what is right. Always obeying God. If we act in Machiavellian ways, we might “gain the whole world.” But at what cost? Our eternal soul?

Today, what are you living for? Are you letting the world shape your thinking? Are you willing to compromise God’s Word for short-term gains? Or are you living for Him, and applying Biblical principles?

When you stand on His Word, you can trust God to “supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).