Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.”
Over at First Eggshell Church you have to be extra careful about what you say, how you say it, and who you say it to. They talk about ministry but little is accomplished because they are too busy walking on eggshells. Egos and feelings take priority over humble Christian service. You can hurt their feelings at the drop of a hat. There’s always a skirmish, a squabble, and a feud brewing as they huddle in their cliques and complain about the shortcomings of others. Egos and personalities clash over the most trivial matters.
Today’s focus scripture deals with a dispute that arose among Jesus’ disciples. They were arguing about who was the greatest among them. Who was most important in the eyes of the Lord and worthy of the highest position and recognition? After all, they had left everything to follow Jesus. Surely they deserved more than other followers of Christ who were watching from the sidelines. Certainly there must be a higher position for those who were closest to Jesus.
Inflated egos, hunger for power and position, and entitlement result in broken fellowship, hurt feelings, and hindered ministry. Jesus didn’t want it among His earliest followers and He doesn’t want it now. All Christian ministry begins and ends in the heart of the humble servant.
On a Sunday morning some years ago I was preaching a message on Christian service. At one point I elected to single out some of our dedicated workers. Later that day I received a phone call from an angry church member. She was upset because I had neglected to call attention to a member of her family who, in her mind, was worthy to be mentioned in the morning message. “His feelings are really hurt. He may never come back. In fact, our whole family may find us another church!”
I felt really bad about the unintentional slight but all attempts at damage control failed. However, I did learn a valuable lesson. From that point forward I was very careful when handing out compliments from the pulpit. I also learned that working alongside other Christians can be like walking on eggshells. No matter how hard you try there will always be somebody to get their feelings hurt.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all.” The members of the First Eggshell Church can benefit greatly from Jesus’ instruction. To effectively serve our Lord we must empty ourselves of desired recognition, position, and power.
Without question, we all need a pat on the back and some words of encouragement from time to time. But such accolades should never be expected or required for continued Christian service. We don’t serve for our own glory…we are to serve to His glory. It’s not all about you or me. It’s all about Him.
Our focus should be on the people we are reaching for Christ and not on titles, plaques, awards, and recognition. Remember, your service to man stems from your service to Christ. It is not man you ultimately must please. God knows what you are doing for Him. Find your satisfaction and encouragement in the knowledge that you are doing His work. Your reward will ultimately come from Christ Himself.
Keep the main thing the main thing. Keep your focus on serving Christ by ministering to others. If you find yourself wanting to quit because you were slighted or failed to get the recognition you think you deserved, then give yourself an attitude adjustment. Be patient. Do your job. The greatest of all paydays is coming.
For more on this topic, check out this article: Your Labor for the Lord Matters
Reprinted from The Forever Notebook, Book 1 (January – March) Get your copy here: Paperback and eBook/Kindle formats.