Nouwen responds to the question of why the temptation of power is so difficult to resist with the following:
Leaders must constantly be aware of and guard against falling to the same temptations that Jesus faced in the desert - the temptation to be relevant, the temptation to be popular, and the temptation to be powerful.
Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for love. It is easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life. Jesus asks 'Do you love me?' We ask 'Can we sit at your right hand and your left hand in your kingdom?'...The long painful history of the church is the history of people ever and again tempted to choose power over love, control over the cross, being a leader over being led."