Sunday, October 13, 2013

Here I am...

...don't send me.

Were you expecting me to quote Isaiah 6:8*? Well that's what it used to be - and still is occasionally. In fact, some people go one step "backward" to say:
 "Here I am, send him/her."
Now and again, I know some Christians who, in wanting to show (off) what they know, actively seek recognition and shy away from the responsibilities. I always wonder, why people want to be seen but don't want to sow the time and effort required to set things up for success. Their attitude is more like there is someone, other than them, should do the "heavy lifting." My question is: "Why not you?"

The Bible is clear on the process for "notable recognition." If you really desire notable recognition, you should start with humble service. In fact in one chapter after the other, Jesus told His disciples about "being the servant" - i.e. the one sent to serve. In Mark 9: 33-35, Jesus addressed His disciples directly about being of service to each other and to others - we can liken that to Christians in church wanting recognition. The Zebedee brothers may have thought: "that's all well and good for earth" so they aimed for recognition in heaven - and once again Jesus reiterated the importance of serving and was an example (Mk 10: 35-45 & Jn 13: 15-18).

As I watch and hear about Christians' attitudes to service, I can't help but wonder if we learn anything from the examples of Jesus, Paul and other apostles about humility, service and giving or if we just read the Bible for information not for transformation. When you break it down, if you really want to be recognized as a "Minister" (or even a Worker) then live up to the name. The root Latin word is "Minister" which means "Servant, Attendant" which itself was derived from "minus" which means "less." Interesting that the word "less" comes up.

Paul warns more than once:
For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him.**
If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care— then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Phil 2:3 - Message - emphasis mine)
The wisest man who ever lived also said: ...being humble will bring honor to you.*** So the secret to honor being sought is in being humble because God resists the proud "will humiliate those who make fun of others, but he is kind to those who are humble." (Prov 3:34 - EtRV)

I believe a lot of people associate the parable of the Widow's Mite**** to giving her all in the midst of lack. The lesson here is really the fact that she gave all cheerfully - she did what she needed to do and didn't care who was watching. Similarly, we all need to be willing to be sent.

Join me to say: "Here I am - please send me." May the Lord answer our prayers. AMEN!

References:
* Isaiah 6:8 - Then I heard the voice of the Lord, saying, “Whom will I send? Who will go for us?”
I said, “Here I am. Send me!” (God's Word Translation)
** Rom 12:3 - Amplified
***  Prov 15:33b - NLT
**** Mark 12: 41 - 44; Luke 21: 1-4

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