In a world that promotes self-aggrandizement and getting ahead, living life as a humble servant is truly counter-cultural. It is to invite ridicule, derision, and condescending pity from the masses. No one chooses to live this way because it is easy or socially acceptable. We choose it because Jesus told us this is the way to live. By His own example, Jesus showed although He was superior to all, He chose to be a servant to all (John 13:3-17). He told His disciples anyone who sought to get ahead would be sent to the back of the line (Matthew 19:23-30).
In the upside-down Kingdom of God, the way to get ahead is to stop promoting yourself and begin building up others. For followers of Christ, life is not about becoming the best known or loved. It’s about serving others in such a way they might see Jesus in us and come to know Him for themselves.
Everything around us screams self-promotion. Much of the world has gone absolutely crazy trying to get the most likes, followers, or re-tweets. It’s a madness in pursuit of nothing. In a world where fame is more readily achieved than ever, that same fame is more fleeting than ever before. All the striving for a minute in the sun may very well come at the cost of our souls. We no longer have time for quiet reflection with the God and Creator of the universe. We don’t have enough hours in the day to accomplish all we have been conditioned to do and desire. Too many see success as a zero-sum game, one in which for them to win someone else must lose. Is this the life Jesus advocated?
What if we flipped the script on its head? What if instead of defining success by what we accomplished or accumulated, we defined it by how well we served others? What if the measure of our life was how closely we walked with Jesus? If you love Christ, I know that resonates with you. There is something deep inside every true believer telling them the way we’re doing life is messed up, mixed up, and leading us where we don’t want to go. Something needs to change, and we know it.
Imagine life slowed down to the point where Jesus was your only focus. Think about how your days would feel if you spent them serving the needs of others, offering a hand or a comforting word. How might our lives be different if we turned off our phones, closed our social media accounts and tuned out all the noise? Yes, it’s totally counter-cultural. We’re going to be weird. But isn’t Jesus worth enduring some scorn and sideways glances from others? Isn’t what He did for us worth us sacrificing the world’s idea of normalcy? If our dreams and ambitions aren’t centered on Him, they won’t last anyway. Better to be counter-cultural than left behind (Matthew 7:21-23). Today, why not slow down? Why not choose Jesus over everything else? Your life will be better. You’ll be more at peace and relaxed. And you’ll look just a little more like Jesus.