Sunday, June 22, 2014

Making His Thoughts Our Own

Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said,
"If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last,
and the servant of all."

-- Mark 9:35
The Bible is literally a Book of Life; it's God's words to live by. Through its pages we're constantly reminded that He loves us and will do whatever it takes to have an everlasting relationship with His people. But another repeated lesson is that God's ways aren't our ways. And His thoughts also aren't our own.

How true that is. Our society teaches Thinkerus to beat the competition, climb the corporate ladder and keep up with our neighbors (and then pass them by). We need the biggest, the best and the shiniest. And most of all, we can't forget that it's not bragging if we can back it up.

There's not much room for humility. And any other way would look weak. We have an image to keep and folks to impress, so we need to dress the part and live in the right neighborhood. What's more, we must drive the right car and have the right job. It's all about us. And we deserve only the best.

But God teaches a much different way for Christ-followers: To be first, we must be last.

Needless to say, this perspective turns things totally inside out. And that's just the point.

How much better would this world be if every Christ-follower were to adopt a servant's attitude and put the interests of others before their own? Jesus answered this question by His own example. First, he willingly surrendered the royal privileges of being God's only Son. He entered the world in the most humble of circumstances--a birth among farm animals in a less-than-tidy stable. And when he grew older, He learned to make a living as a carpenter. Jesus could have lived in splendor as the King of Kings. But instead, He chose a nomadic existence to teach His people about God's Good News of salvation. He put us before Himself.

Finally, Jesus' ultimate act of humility was to suffer the death of a common criminal. Of course, this was unwarranted because He had lived a perfect, fault-free life. But it was for our sake that He accepted a horrific death on a cross to pay for the failed ways we've lived our lives and treated others.

That's quite a lesson in humility--one taught by the One with the humble servant's heart. He's the same One who came to serve rather than to be served. And He's the only One whose sacrifice was worthy.

How can we adopt this same mindset? Above all, we must recognize the wonderful things God has done for us and continues to do every day. Without Him, we are nothing. But through Him, all things are possible.

When we make God's ways and thoughts our own, we'll finally understand that it's through humility--not force--that our world will change for the better. 

No comments: