Trying To Be Second

I had the immense privilege yesterday of leading our staff through a short devotional time. My instructions were to make it “inspiring, vision related, relevant and concise“.

At least the parameters were clear.

I love assignments like this; I think the primary buzz I get is in the wrestling through the creative process. So many things had been swirling through my mind, and I started to jot things down, re-read blogs and circled book pages, find notes from recent sermons…

And I threw it all on a screen and started to edit. Keeping in mind the call to be inspiring/vision-related/relveant/concise”, I was also compelled to be authentic. So, the end result of what I compiled has a lot to do with where I am residing these days, spiritually speaking.

Here’s just a snippet of the place I landed. Perhaps you will find some relevance to your own life today.

Angie says, “Create in me a pure heart, O God (Psalm 51.10)

Proverbs says, “Who can say, ‘I have kept my heart pure; I am clean and without sin?’ ” (Proverbs 20.9)

Eric says, “In a very real sense, following Jesus begins and ends with humility. Do I enjoy being reminded every morning that I need a clean heart? And that I need to ask someone for it?” 

Paul says, “Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” (Philippians 2)

In whatever work we do, however we advance, whatever vision we pursue – if we fail to humble ourselves, seek a pure heart, pray for others and identify with Jesus’ willingness to serve, we can easily miss the mark. In all my doing and going and busyness, when I skim over this call to humility, I am rendered less-than-capable. An easily quotable scripture I’ve heard all my life is from Paul’s writing: “When I am weak, then I am strong.” (2 Corinthians 12.10)

This whole idea of kingdom-living is whack. Crazy. It goes against the grain.

We’re called to be second. That doesn’t come naturally. And how weird is that – trying to be second? Working towards humility?

Interesting paradox. And worth the pursuit.

This is one of the reasons I am passionate about being a Christ-follower. It is no easy thing; it is not the stereotype of believing dogma and following rules. It is the wrestling with the essence of our humanity, in the context of our community, following the example of a Prophet. That’s just for starters.

Am I the only one who struggles with this notion of truly, authentically, really valuing others above myself?

2 thoughts on “Trying To Be Second

  1. I love this post. Thanks for making time for me, today. I was just telling Christy: I love my time with you because you give me a glimpse of what's just around the corner. You make me braver.

    Do you have a word for 2012? Mine is “trust,” but I'm thinking it should be “balance.”


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