Monday, 7 January 2013

Who’s the greatest?


I have been thinking lately about pride. It’s very easy when you are flattered and included by the world to try to please people rather than God. Strangely, I find it easier to serve and do my best when I am unrecognised. Because I am doing it for God. A bit of praise and complimenting makes me try to please people. I want to do well at work and I like it when people say I’ve done a great job. After all it says in the Bible “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart” but then the rub…  “as working for the Lord, not for human masters”. Colossians 3v23.

We had a guest preacher on Sunday. An ex-mayor of our little town, he was an amazing Christian witness during his time as Mayor (and still is), and the message on Sunday was just what I needed. The reading from the word was John 3 and he preached on John 3 v30.

John’s disciples thought he was the greatest. Why was this other teacher pinching their followers?

John answers them “He must become greater; I must become less.”

The familiar story of John and James’ mother’s request in Matthew 20 reinforced the idea that to we must become less. Salome was, it is thought, the sister of Mary making her sons Jesus’ first cousins and certainly they had a special relationship with the Lord. And any mother wants the best for her children: a place at Jesus’ side would be the top spot. But as Jesus answers

“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. 26 Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, 27 and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— 28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

This idea is reinforced by the next event. Two blind men call out as Jesus and his followers pass.

And Jesus stopped

He stopped and he served. And that is our model.

The preacher said that the word Jesus used for slave was a bonded slave, one that had served his time but chose to stay with his master and work for nothing. The slave was marked by a hole punched through their ear. To show they chose to belong. So should we, should I, seek to become less.

I find it hard when non Christians praise my work to give God the glory for it. I will ponder on that. May God give me the right words, right feelings and keep me humble.

linking with Hear it, use it,


  1. It is good to hear of a public servant that has a good reputation.


    1. He's a great example of giving God the glory for his achievements.

  2. This post spoke to my heart--

    Be Blessed as God gives you the right words!

  3. I struggle with pride a lot. I am thankful that He has started a good work in me of ferreting out, but oh, it crops up when I least expect it.

    So glad that you linked up with SDG today! (ANd I love your One Word!)

    1. Yes, I am decidedly a work in progress...but I press on.Thanks for visiting.

  4. coming over from SDG and glad to read your blog Great reminder. I learned this summer a prayer from St John of the Cross: make me invisible, Lord. That seems to fit your post today. Glad to connect!

    1. I love that prayer, Jean. I've written it in my work diary as a reminder. Thanks for visiting.

  5. Clicking over from SDG to say hey, and welcome!

    I like what you say about doing your best when you are unrecognized by others...such a good point.

    Looking forward to reading more from you!

  6. Made my way here from SDG-hello, hello! Even though we are half a world apart, we all can be so similar. I, too, struggle with pride, and reading reminders from other writers is always so helpful!



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