Friday, March 14, 2014

Service as the Antidote to Egocentrism

Do you ever feel like you deserve something better because of who you are, what you have done or who you hang out with? Does the work you do make you feel like you are of some importance? Do the things you have accomplished in life give you the impression that you have some special worth? 

I do…

Some of Jesus’ closest friends did as well…

James and John asked Jesus to “let one of them sit at His right and the other at His left in His glory.” (Mark 10: 37) WOW! The nerve! These two were certainly showing their humanity here. I guess walking with Christ had given them a sense of misplaced value that often comes up when our only preoccupation as a follower of Christ is obtaining the riches that we are promised…forgetting that the greatest treasure is Christ Himself.

In this material world, we struggle with the notion of being humble. Humbleness does not come easy if you are a human being; hence the constant reminders in the Bible. Becoming humble is a process that starts with realizing that Christ is the only Super Star in the history of the world and in the history of our lives. 

For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, that no one should boast. Ephesians 2: 8-9

We are not to boast since there is nothing to boast about for we have done nothing. If we were to boast, let it be about Christ who is the One who has done it all as He continues to sustains us even today! We are not even second in line after Christ, for as we know, after our Lord comes our neighbor…

Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others. Philippians 2: 3-4

We are supposed to be a distant third! Perhaps not for you, but for me, this concept is so very hard to grasp. Most of the time, I get caught up in the minutia of my days as I allow my every thought to revolve around my own self. At the end, when I finally realize it, I am ashamed because I have spent most of my time only focused on my own struggles first, forgetting I am supposed to be third. 

Jesus offers an antidote for such egocentrism. He tells us to go out and serve.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10: 45

This is the core message that He communicated to His beloved James and John in reply to their request. This is the same message He gives to us today as we fight our own sense of heightened self-importance. 

The King of Kings came down to us to serve…imagine what is expected of those who belong to Him. There is no room for the haughty in the Kingdom of a King who have humbled Himself to the point of dying for His subjects.

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