In 1963, Muhammad Ali wrote a poem in which he claimed he was the greatest. He had not yet fought Sonny Liston for the Heavyweight title, but for many it was obvious he was on the cusp of a successful career. In February of this year, New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, led his team to an unprecedented fifth Super Bowl title. Since then sports analysts and fans have hotly debated whether Brady is the “Greatest of All Time.” My brother, a baseball enthusiast, will argue that Brooks Robinson was the greatest third basemen to ever play the game.
Even Jesus’ disciples got caught up in determining their level of importance. “And there rose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be the greatest.” (Luke 22:24 NASB) Today people are still enamored with greatness. Lists abound touting who is the richest, most powerful, or best looking.
As human beings it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to make the grade and be considered successful by earthly standards. But when Jesus came he turned all of society’s preconceived notions upside down. “The one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.” (Luke 22:26 NASB) He also said, “If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.” (Mark 9:35 NASB)
Tough statements to swallow, aren’t they? To give up our place in line, or see someone promoted ahead of us at work. How about a time when you didn’t receive recognition for something you did or worse, saw someone get credit for your work?
Often our response to these kind of injustices is to get angry, and Satan would love it if we sinned because of that anger. But we can foil his attempts by taking our hurt and disappointment to the one who knows exactly how we feel. We can ask God to use the situation for his glory, rather than ours. We can ask him to take away our indignation and turn our animosity to peace.
Do you have a situation that has hurt you? Are you harboring ill-will about something?
“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”
I Peter 5:7 (NASB)
Linda Shenton Matchett
With a BA in Psychology and Masters in Human Resource Management, Linda Matchett has had a wide and varied career as a crisis counselor, HR generalist, B&B owner and youth center director. She is currently the Front of House, Snackbar & Catering Manager at Brewster Academy. A journalist and blogger, she has written for numerous online and print publications. An author of Christian contemporary and historical fiction, Linda is also a a motivational speaker. Available topics include Life on the (WWII) Home Front, Wartime Baking, Women in the (WWII) Workforce, The Writer’s Life, God in the Workplace, The Proverbs 31 Gal: The Woman We Love to Hate, and Ruth: Lessons from a Foreigner. Linda is a member of First Baptist Church Wolfeboro where she sings in the choir and serves as Church Treasurer and a member of the Fellowship Team.
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