The gift that is on you will destroy you if what is in you cannot sustain you. ~ Christine Caine
I'm in the middle of a project at work that requires me to interact with many types of people, throughout many places in the world and from all walks of life. As I work so closely with these people, I'm beginning to know their character. Many of them hold titles that are highly revered in the world. Some "wear" the title better than others. Most of them do not know the Lord and although it turns my stomach to see someone think so much of themselves because of their education and/or title it does not surprise me when they act this way. However, true sadness and frustration sets in as I see people within the Body of Christ acting the same way. What is it about a title that makes us forget Who's we are and how our Father expects us to act?
One of the things that has been instilled in me since I was a young child is respect. You respect your elders. You respect those in authority. Overall, you show respect to people...period. I try my best to live by those teachings, but it isn't always easy. You see, as I've grown older I've become less and less impressed with a title. I've discovered that a title does not necessarily reflect a person's character. You would think that it would...and it absolutely should. However, I've seen many people whose character far exceeded their title...and many who's fell short.
For instance, there is a wonderful woman of God that works on our custodial staff at work. Now for some, it would be easy to just walk past her in the hallway and not think a thing about her. But taking the time to talk to her has enriched my life. She is a woman of the Word. She always has a book she's reading (right now it's on fasting). She always has her bible with her and you can find her reading it during her break time. She is loving, friendly, humble and hardworking. She speaks to everyone. She shows kindness and concern to all. She takes great pride in doing her job well. Her inner beauty goes before her and the Spirit of the Lord is all over her! Her character far exceeds her earthly title. In the eyes of many, she's at the bottom of the totem pole. But do not be deceived! Ms. Barbara holds a high position in the Kingdom of God. There is no doubt in my mind that she will one day hear the Lord say, "Well done my good and faithful servant." She certainly makes it easy for me to show her respect. She always brings a smile to my face and a warmth to my heart.
Others do not make it quite so easy. Sometimes I have to dig really deep (and pray a lot) to muster up the respect that the Lord expects me to give others. Their lack of character does not give me a right to disrespect them. It is crazy to let their sin push me into my own sin. It's like reaching into the pig pen to pick up some mud to sling at the pig, just to fall into the pig pen myself!
No one in the Body of Christ should ever, ever, never-ever find themselves slinging mud at one another. We should also keep in mind that no one person/title is greater than the other. Romans 12:3-8 tells us, "3 For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 4 For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, 5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully." Jockeying for a title should never be on our "to do" list. In fact, we better approach a new position with sober judgment. To whom much is given, much is expected. (Luke 12:48) The gift...the title...that is on us will destroy us if what's in us can't sustain us. Let's not worship a title...let's worship the King. If we will set our eyes on Him, He will place us in the right place at the right time. And when we get there, let's not forget Who put us there! Let's not seek our own recognition. Let's make sure He always receives the glory. Let's not treat someone else as though we are greater. Let's not get too big for our britches...