Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up…. (James 4:10).
Have you ever tried to exalt your own self? I have. Have you ever tried to look really good before other people with the hopes that you’ll be picked out from among the crowd? Yeah, that’s been me too.
All of us want to be noticed, but why? What’s at the root of our desperate need to be seen and esteemed by others? I know for me, whenever I’ve lived this way, it’s because I’m living out of a misunderstanding of my true identity. I’m trying to find my worth and value in other people and because of it, I’m forgetting that my true value is found in Christ alone.
My heart can so easily be drawn towards people of high position and fame. Even in the Chrisitan world I feel myself wanting to be like some of the big names others esteem and recognize. Yet, I am reminded of a humble servant, born of peasant parents, who laid down His life for mankind. This calls me to remember that life is not about the stage I hold, but my willingness to become a servant to all.
Jesus says quite simply, “If you want to become great, you must become servant of all.” Not servant of self, making quite the name for yourself, but servant of all, caring little about what you can accomplish for yourself, so that others know that in your presence they are loved, valued and seen. This is the stage that God wants us to foster within our hearts, not one for us to climb, but one for us to fill with other people. Yes, this is the symphony of His grace into our hearts, that we are not individuals living in silos for God, but we are the body of Christ, a community of people who have been called to love one another.
As we live in this way, God lifts us up. Not with more praise from people, but with more opportunities to love someone else. He may give us more responsibility or more territory to shepherd for Him, but not so that we can receive more praise, but so that we continue to make ourself a servant of all.
Father, I want my stage to be filled with people. People to love and care for. People to encourage. People to journey together with in your Kingdom work. If the stage you give me ever becomes about me, please forgive me. I want to be like you, in Jesus name, Amen.