"Do you want to stand out? Then step down. Be a servant. If you puff yourself up, you’ll get the wind knocked out of you. But if you’re content to simply be yourself, your life will count for plenty." Matt 23:11-12 Msg
This way of thinking is so opposite of how so many think. It is in direct oppositition of what our culture says and what we are taught in school or see modeled as "supposedly" working all around us.
You know what strikes me most here is that God knows how badly we long to "stand out" and how tempted we are to "puff ourselves up". He also knew way back then that we have a hard time staying in our lanes and being ourselves.
Wow! Stop and think about it. Ok, I'm a lil silly but this image just popped in my head of them comparing their loin cloths and chariots. Quickly, I remembered all the amazing structures from Rome I saw when I was there. So I'm sure comparison and keeping up with the Jones was just as alive and well then as it is today, actually.
If we puff ourselves up, according to this passage, we WILL get the wind knocked out of us.
If we are content to be ourselves, our lives WILL count for plenty.
Honest confession: I SOOO want my life to count for something. Always have. But what is that motive from? A need for significance? A true heart to help lots of people? A hunger for approval? A genuine love for God and desire to see others love Him and experience Him? You don't know. I sometimes don't know. But God does. He knows us better than we know ourselves and and even our own motives.
This I do know:
" In every way I showed you that by working hard like this we should help the weak and remember the words that the Lord Jesus himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'" Acts 20:35 ISV
So it's simple really. Work hard to focus on giving more than receiving and serving more than leading. You be you and me be me and let's trust God in living this paradoxical life. He will help our lives have plenty of meaning.
Once again, it circles back around to faith. Without it, it's impossible to please God. Be happy to help in faith. Let's focus on our parts: helping and giving and trust God with His part.
“He who works for good will find happiness” Prov 12:20