Going down with pride

As Christians who walk humbly with our God, we know our place here on earth is to be used by God as his instruments. Essentially, his hands and feet. Oftentimes, as did the disciples, the concern of “Who is doing the most good for God?” comes into play while a sense of pride and self-importance arises.

In Mark, some of Jesus’ disciples grumbled about who would have the place of honor of sitting on the right and left side of Jesus in glory, primarily, James and John, the sons of Zebedee (a.k.a. the Sons of Thunder). Their pride yearned for a higher place, that showy place of importance and greatness. Jesus replied to them that these positions were “for whom they have been prepared” and added in vs. 45, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Let’s face it, God cannot be impressed with anything we do. Even worse, he loathes when pride, one of the seven deadly sins, takes root and settles into an inflated view of our own self worth when taking an overly zealous stock in our accomplishments. When rulers or slave owners lord over their subjects with exalted power, God is not pleased and we are wise to remember that “pride goes before a fall.”

In God’s economy, it’s the more humble and self-effacing person on whom God smiles. In Philippians 2, we see that even Jesus did not seek the high places or to elevate himself but rather humbled himself to the point of death. Apostle Paul tells us that Jesus did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped but he lowered himself in taking the form of a bond servant and being made in the likeness of men… After that, God elevated him to bear the name above all names.

Being a servant is not an easy task in a world full of pride. It’s not glamorous or flashy. For the most part, the life of a servant is one of sometimes doing the lowly grunt work and not one that calls much attention to itself. It quietly and ardently works behind the scenes and does not care who is watching because the work is being done for the Lord. Oftentimes, the Lord’s servants are thrust into greatness or a prominent place not because they necessarily want it but because the Lord grants it. He honors them. The position is not for one’s own seeking of glory, honor or riches but rather just the opposite. Servanthood is best performed when we empty ourselves of self and put on Christ.