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Friday, September 11, 2009

How Important Do You Think You Are?

I suppose no one likes being belittled. I don't like being told how dumb I am nor how ugly nor how short nor any of the things I really might be but don't want to be told. I have no control over most of the things I don't want to be told. It still hurts. 

None of this really counts when considering our importance in God's Kingdom. Jesus said that the more important are those who are the servants of all others. I can be very important regardless of my intelligence, looks, height or anything else I entered this world with. I can really be somebody. 

The problem comes when I think I am somebody when I want the praise of people over the praise of God. The more I want someone else to praise me, the lower I get in the Kingdom of God. I grow greater in God's Kingdom the less I seek the praise of the world.

My natural tendency is to want the praise of this world. It is tangible. It is something I see today. However, I may not know my greatness in God's Kingdom while on this earth. I may never even realize it. 

It is very hard to be content with something promised but not received.  I suppose that has to do with maturity. I have heard that being mature is having money in your pocket and not spending it. I suppose this maturity is realizing that the more I serve, the more I am building my stature in God's eyes. I know that is true but, honestly, I would rather receive a check.

I wonder what it is like for people who are naturally gifted to receive the praise of the world. I wonder what it is like to be a great actor or athlete. They have to work against others' desire to serve them and make them important on this earth if they want to be great in God's Kingdom. I am sure that there are those who do. I just think it must be extremely difficult for them.

Years ago I heard of people practicing "random acts of kindness." I laughed. There is no such thing. Significant kindness is a conscious thought. It may be that you have been raised to be kind. It may be that you are naturally kind. However, it is a conscious thought when you do serve someone who may never thank you. It is a conscious thought when it costs you something and you are never repaid. I think this is what Jesus meant when He said the one who is the servant of all is the greatest in God's Kingdom. No repayment is needed nor should be expected. 

I will make a conscious effort to serve others today. I will do so without the expectation of being repaid or even receiving thanks. I will do so without the desire to be noticed and praised. I will do so because I know that Jesus is watching. 

That's enough; isn't it?

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