Who’s Number One?


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Bible Reading: Matthew 20:20-28

Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant.   Matthew 20:26

Think about whether you’d like to become a leader like Ms. Rachel someday.

Ms. Rachel is a businessperson with an important position at the top of her company. She looks down on anyone she considers to be less important than her—which is basically everyone. When her assistant enters her office, Ms. Rachel barks her usual orders. “Get that stupid jerk Patterson in here. And tell Allison to—” She stops in mid-sentence, alarmed by the pained expression on her assistant’s face.

The secretary says, “Your baby-sitter called. Danielle disappeared.”

Ms. Rachel grabs her cell phone, dials the sitter, and fires questions as she races out of the office. She flings herself into her BMW, squeals onto the street, and speeds toward the sitter’s house. If anything happens to Danielle, I’ll die. She runs a red light. What if I don’t find her? The thought terrifies her.

Near the sitter’s house, she spots a crossing guard in the intersection just in time to slam on her brakes. Her fury erupts like a volcano. Mr. Richter, the old crossing guard, has been helping children cross the street for years, and Ms. Rachel has always looked down on him as an unimportant old man. And now, by forcing her to stop, he’s wasted precious seconds.

Ms. Rachel opens her mouth to yell at him, then notices a child in his arms—Danielle! The old crossing guard had found Danielle at the park and was bringing her back to the sitter. Ms. Rachel swings open the door and runs hysterically to the man. She sweeps her three-year-old into her arms and hugs her, crying tears of joy and thankfulness. Ms. Rachel, the powerful executive, suddenly feels very small. And Mr. Richter, the old man she once looked down on, is very important.

Talk about it: What do you think of Ms. Rachel?

Ms. Rachel is an “egoist,” a person who sees herself as the center of the universe. She puts her interests before those of everyone else, thinking, Forget everybody else. As long as I get what I want out of life, I’ll be happy. But life doesn’t work that way. Following that strategy can make people wealthy or powerful, but it also leaves them bitter and lonely.

Jesus taught that you and every other human being are immensely and equally important to God. Realizing the worth of everyone around you doesn’t get in the way of your happiness. It makes happiness happen.

TALK: What do you think of God—who sees all of us as valuable?

PRAY: God, help us treat everyone around us as people who are important to you.

ACT: Who have you looked down on in the past? What do you want to do today to show that person’s value?


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