Becoming “Second” takes a great amount of humility. This attitude pleases God and should be taken seriously. The opposite; self-importance, smugness and pride can destroy unity in a church family faster than anything else. Pride builds walls between people; humility breaks them down and builds strong authentic relationships. Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it is thinking of yourself less. When you put God and others first, you don’t have time to focus on yourself. Bowing in humility before the Lord helps you come closer to Him because you are acknowledging that your worth comes from Him and Him alone. Although none of us deserve God’s favor, he wants to lift you up and give you worth and dignity, despite your human shortcomings. “Humble yourself before the Lord and He will lift you up in honor.” James 4:10
Jesus set an example for His followers, showing compassion and acceptance for the lowest of lows. He was a friend to sinners. Proof being when He chose His disciples, one by one, He picked ordinary sinful men to be the leaders of His church. One of them, Matthew the Tax Collector did horrible things to people, by strong-arming them into paying their taxes while he skimmed off the top. Then he met Jesus. As Jesus looked into Matthews’s eyes, his view of life dramatically changed. Then Jesus said “Follow Me”, Matthew dropped everything and followed Him. The first thing Matthew did was through a banquet for Jesus and the guest list included his friends in the tax collecting business, pagans, drunkards and prostitutes. Jesus loved everyone and I imagine he enjoyed listening to their stories as He was gently making an impact on all of their lives. The religious leaders were keeping a close watch on Jesus’s every move and were mocking Him for hanging out with such “low-lives”. “This so-called “teacher” and “healer” dines with sinners.” Jesus heard them mumbling outside, He went out and stopped them in their tracks when he said, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means. I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12. He was showing them what their own scripture taught, that God is pleased with hearts full of compassion and mercy, not empty sacrifices by arrogant, empty religion.
You can easily cultivate this humble attitude of being “Second” by:
Admitting your weakness–the Bible teaches we all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God and if we don’t accept that fact we are only fooling ourselves. The reason we see hypocrisy, deceit, and a lack of genuineness in others is that they are all in our hearts as well. We are all capable of evil. In the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 7:1 Jesus puts it this way, “Do not judge or you to will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged…”, and later in verse 12 He teaches the Golden Rule, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you…” Therefore, we have no right to judge others weaknesses when we are full of them ourselves.
Being patient with others weakness–the truth is we all have quirks and annoying traits. Our common ground in community is our relationship with Christ. You are in His family. One key is to understand where people come from. Take time to discover their history. When you know their story, you will be more understanding and compassionate. Instead of thinking how far they need to go, think of how far they have come in spite of their hurts.
Pride blocks grace in your life. You must have God’s grace to grow, change and help others. You need to receive it before you can give it. If you have humbled yourself before Christ and received Him into your heart, you are receiving His grace, love, forgiveness and protection. You can rest in that and stop worrying about yourself and move on to helping others by giving out grace, pray for someone, teach a child or show concern to that person that is hard to love. Humbly be Jesus to others, it is the best way to live.
- Forgiveness is a free gift and spending time confessing can cleanse your soul and help you leave yourself behind so you can be about others. How many times a week do you spend confessing your weakness to Christ?
- Getting to know others is a way to unity and harmony in a church family. Have you joined a serving team or Life Group to begin building those healthy relationships?