The Way Up is Down

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being…. Philippians 2:5-7 (NLT)

Recently a well-known Christian entertainer came to our town to put on a show. I was involved in helping with the event, so I got to see this musician behind the scenes. It didn’t take long for me to realize that everything that came out of the entertainer’s mouth was about self-promotion.

In fact, the whole show that evening seemed to be a review of personal accolades from days gone by. It made me sad to think about how much energy had been put into that evening—and likely throughout his lifetime—promoting the image of a person with whom God was already pleased!

In this world, we’re told the way up is through self-promotion and personal achievement. Seminars and books abound that teach us how to rise to the top and get the most out of our relationships. After all, it’s a dog-eat-dog world, so we need to work hard and look out for number one.

In God’s economy, however, everything is turned upside down. Consider these premises from Scripture:
– The first will be last and the last will be first. (Mark 10:31)
– The greatest in the kingdom are those who humble themselves like a child. (Matthew 18:4)
– Our priority ought to be seeking righteousness and His kingdom. Then we can let Him worry about the rest. (Matthew 6:33)

As I think about ethics and integrity I’m reminded that God said the greatest among us would act like a servant.

The greatest among you must be a servant. Matthew 23:11 (NLT)

Have you bought into the world’s system of personal success and achievement? Or are you on track with God’s upside-down way of doing things?


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