However, power is not all bad: it continues to have positive potential. Andy Crouch, author and partner for theology and culture at Praxis, has talked about the fact that although Jesus models servanthood for us – for example, in his washing of his disciples’ feet (John 13:1–16) – he does not deny the power he has as God’s Son. It is not that Jesus becomes powerless, but that he doesn’t worry about the privilege and status that humans often associate with power. Instead, Jesus shows us that power is a characteristic of God, which we possess as image bearers, but which we should be willing to use or lay aside to pursue justice and peace.
To bring the kingdom of God into being, we need to show this willingness to give up the status or privilege of power. We should be accountable to others in the way we possess, express and use power. It should always help to open up relationships between humans and God. This is seen most clearly in Jesus, who could have used his power to escape the cross.
Paul describes what Jesus did instead in his letter to the Philippians:
‘In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death – even death on a cross!’ (Philippians 2:5–8)
As peacebuilders it is important to be aware of power in two ways. First, we need to be aware of the historical power relationships between those who are in conflict, so that a peacebuilding process can begin to deal with misuse of power. Second, we need to be aware of our own power and of historical power dynamics between our own culture and others, in relation to the people we are working with, so that we do not accidentally create additional problems.
 If you are interested in learning more about the theology of the image of God, you can read Tearfund’s essay collection Made in the image of God.