I’m finding that many people, institutions, and organizations subscribe to the title of this devotion in one way or another. Of course, the person or organization usually doesn’t come out and say, “I’m right, you’re wrong, so shut up.” Yet, there is a sense of entitlement, superiority, and judgment that oozes out in their speech and the way they treat their fellow man or woman.
I’m also finding as I continue studying Jesus’ life in the New Testament, that He approached people with a gentle and humble attitude. He had a servant’s heart that flowed unreservedly from Him to His neighbor. He was on earth going about His Father’s business and did not force anyone to accept the Gift He came to offer. He didn’t push His agenda onto any person who didn’t want to listen and accept His offer. He allowed people the space and ability to make their own choices.
Jesus did, however, have strong words to say about the religious organizations and leaders. He hated the way they twisted His Words to fool people into following whatever man-made agenda and motives they subscribed to. The religious folks were in love with personal power, control, and money. They wanted everyone to believe the way they did and conform to their standards so they could control people.
Religious people today are no different. They pretend to have their lives all together in public. They wear masks made of pride and prejudice, making sure their public persona is superior and looks better than anyone else’s. They hide behind man made rules and regulations; checking boxes and coercing others to follow man made formulas instead of allowing people their freedom.
Heavenly Father, just like Jesus walked away from false religion and people, so will I. No one has a magic ball, wand, or formula. No human being can promise that “if you do the following; you’ll be fine.” Jesus had equal status with You, but He didn’t cling to the advantages of that status. He set aside His privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! (Phil 2:5-6) I will follow Your lead and continue doing what You’ve called me to do. I trust Your Spirit and Your Word. Amen.
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. 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 (and way). Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. Philippians 2:1-4 MSG