Only the greatest, most popular, rich and intelligent people with the most stuff succeed in life, right? I guess it depends on your perspective and priorities. Here’s the thing; for the most part, this is all temporary stuff. By temporary, I mean that, when we die, it’s all staying six feet under.
Jesus’s teachings would say something completely different. In fact, He speaks the exact opposite. “The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”-Matthew 23:11-12. What!? Jesus was speaking to a crowd about the Pharisees (in short, very prideful, condescending, religious people). He is calling them (and us) to live a humble life, to not be like the Pharisees. It is so easy to get too prideful in life, thinking that we are the captains of our own ships. That we are in control. That our success is based on accomplishments. God has some pretty creative ways of humbling each of us when we get clouded. So He calls us to be humble, that He may be exalted. What in the world does that mean? In my opinion, it means that Jesus wants more of Him and less of us. Practically speaking, it means that He wants us to put others first. To share a smile with others, to share our stuff with others, to share love with others, to share Jesus with others. His desire is for us to do these things out of humbleness and love, not out of obligation and guilt.
By us becoming the least, God has the space to become the greatest. It allows God to take center stage in our lives. It gives Him a platform to work, while our pride remains grounded. When God begins to work, lives are changed. Decisions begin to be made for eternity. This is the good stuff. The stuff that isn’t temporary.
It’s a daily battle. A battle worth fighting.
Is there anwhere in your life that you need to “become the least”?