Bible Reading: Matthew 23:1-12
The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:11-12
New to her school, Nan was also new to the newspaper club. For years only a handful of kids had worked on the Sunnyside Elementary paper, so club members would have celebrated even if the iguana in the library had decided to join their club. But Nan was even better. She sounded smart. She drew comics. And she gushed ideas to make the paper more interesting.
Nan bragged about the cool newspaper at her old school and rattled off ways to improve the paper. Within a month, everyone was looking to her to lead the paper. And for all the control she was taking, Nan might as well have named herself Princess of the Paper. She was picking all the pictures, rewriting all the stories, and hogging the club’s one computer to craft a perfect layout. When she yelled that the fall issue had to be on fluorescent orange paper, the adviser asked Nan to back off.
That’s when Nan got huffy, wrote a note saying she thought the club was stupid, and joined the chess team. If Nan couldn’t be boss, she didn’t want to play.
Some people don’t feel good about themselves unless they have power over others. They’re wrapped up in the status they achieve. And when these folks need a shot of self-worth, they grab leadership in school, church, clubs, and friendships. They aren’t content to be available and serve wherever they’re needed. They have to flex their muscles to feel like they matter.
So what’s so bad about that? If your identity as God’s child and your worth to him is based on the importance you achieve, you’re likely out of luck. Most people rebel when you try to control them. Most clubs don’t want a know-it-all leader. And most countries only need one president.
The Bible is clear: Your identity doesn’t depend on the status you attain. God isn’t looking for people who want to take over the school newspaper or rule the world. Jesus picked ordinary men and women as his followers—and passed over the religious leaders whose heads were overblown with status and self-importance.
Whether the world thinks you’re a somebody or a nobody, you are special to God. Whether you achieve great or small things, you are priceless to him.
TALK: What does the status or power you attain have to do with God’s love for you? Isn’t it great that you can let God be God?
PRAY: Father, you control the universe. We don’t need to control our world to impress you.
ACT: How can you share control and include everyone in the clubs and teams to which you belong?