“Human pride will be humbled, and human arrogance will be brought down. Only the Lord will be exalted on that day of judgment. Idols will completely disappear.” Isaiah 2:17-18
One interesting aspect of Facebook is that some of us get to become “friends”—that is, in the “social media” sense, not friends in real life—with those we greatly admire. Sometimes this is an amazing thing, but other times it’s not.
Since I’m a HUGE heavy metal fan, and listen to mostly Christian rock, I’m friends with many Christian artists. That’s not anything special, as they have thousands of “friends,” so I don’t say that in an arrogant way. It’s just a fact.
Problem is, there are a small number of these Christian “stars” who are a little too big for their britches, as my grandma used to say. They’ve forgotten they put their pants on one leg at a time, just like me. While many don’t put it in these words, their whole persona screams, “Don’t you know who I AM?”
If it’s one personality trait I can’t stand, it’s arrogance. “I have a huge church” or “I’ve played some of the biggest stages in the world.”
“Thus,” goes the thinking, “I’m better than you.”
“Pride goeth before a fall” indeed.
I remember watching an episode of “Punked” a few years ago. Remember that show? It was hosted by Ashton Kutcher, who set up elaborate pranks for celebrities. One episode featured a rapper who had just released his first album. I’d never heard of him, but I don’t really follow rap, so that wasn’t surprising. His album had been doing well, he was starting to make a little money, and it went STRAIGHT to his head.
When a restaurant Maître-D’ wouldn’t put him at the top of their wait-list, out came the arrogance:
“Don’t you know who I AM?” he roared. He then gave his name, which I can’t recall, and continued, “I’m a CELEB, dig it?”
Good grief, man, take a chill pill and stop believing your own hype.
It REALLY bugs me when I see this in a Christian, however. And, just so we’re clear, it’s not just musicians and singers; I’ve seen it in preachers, as well. Their church starts to grow, people lavish them with praise every week, the District Office congratulates them for being so breathtaking, and at some point in the journey, their attitude begins to stink, just a little at first.
Before you know it, though, you can’t get within 10 feet of them without smelling it.
Please understand, I’m not saying this to be rude, and I’m not saying it’s common, but it HAPPENS. I just felt like this is what I should write about today, so stick with me here.
We’re all God’s children, and we all have a calling. If your job is to clean toilets, don’t be embarrassed about that. I was a Custodian for a couple years, and my son is now, while he works his way through college. We must realize our primary goal should be to follow Christ and His calling on our lives, and no one calling is more important than another.
“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and that the Master you are serving is Christ.” Colossians 3:23-24
While I admit to being weary of social media of late, a couple of Facebook’s greatest features are the “unfollow” and “unfriend” options. I was friends with a Christian guitarist and singer who’d put out a couple of albums I liked. Being social media friends with someone you admire is a little intoxicating at first. You find yourself saying things like, “I’m friends with the dude who cut this album” or “I had a personal conversation with the drummer from that band.”
We weren’t “friends” for long, though, because nearly every Facebook post wreaked of “don’t you know who I am?” I won’t give his name or anything about him because that’s not what this is about; it’s about making a simple statement:
Your calling is no more important than mine.
Your calling is no LESS important than mine.
We’re all unique and amazing in God’s eyes, and beyond this, we all should consider ourselves servants of the other.
“The greatest among you will be the one who always serves others from the heart. Remember this: If you have a lofty opinion of yourself and seek to be honored, you will be humbled. But if you have a modest opinion of yourself and choose to humble yourself, you will be honored.” Matthew 23:11-12
You’re no greater than me, dude. Take that to heart.
King David felt the Lord wanted him to build a temple for the Ark of the Covenant, but instead of sitting back and demanding the people of Israel pay for it, he literally gave everything he had to kickstart the building project. In I Chronicles 29, the King states, “And now, because of my devotion to the Temple of my God, I am giving all of my own private treasures of gold and silver to help in the construction. Now then, who will follow my example and give offerings to the Lord today?”
The people were overwhelmed, and gave their all to build the temple.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if leaders and celebrities would lead by this type of example? “I’m giving my all to the Lord; who will join me?”
I’d sign up to fight for THAT army in a heartbeat.
Lest some of the people lift the King on a pedestal, however, he quickly stated what he was doing shouldn’t be praised in the least:
“But why should we be happy that we have given You (referring to God) these gifts? They belong to You, and we have only given back what is already Yours. We are only foreigners living here on earth for a while, just as our ancestors were. And we will soon be gone, like a shadow that suddenly disappears. Our Lord God, we have brought all these things for building a temple to honor You. They belong to You, and You gave them to us. But we are happy, because everyone has voluntarily given You these things. You know what is in everyone’s heart, and You are pleased when people are honest.”
And don’t miss the last part: “Always make us eager to give, and help us be faithful to You, just as our ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob faithfully worshiped You.” (1 Chronicles 29:14-18, emphasis mine)
Help us be eager to give, and to be faithful. I love that.
I also love the fact that King David says, “You GAVE us our talents, Lord, so what makes us so special? They’re YOURS, not OURS, so we shouldn’t be praised when we give them back to You.”
Why should the people I mentioned at the beginning of this be arrogant at all, considering the Lord GAVE them their talent? Maybe you can preach a sermon so grand, people hear an angel choir in the background, but that makes you no more important than the nurse who leaves church early to go pull a double-shift at the hospital.
Maybe you can play a KILLER guitar solo which leaves your fans in awe, so amazing it can literally strip paint from the walls, but that doesn’t make you any more important than your fans. You simply have a different gift.
The lighting and sound technicians behind the curtain are just as AWESOME as the actor or musician in front of the curtain.
We’re all special to our Creator.
Not sure why I wrote this, but perhaps someone needed it.
Many blessings. Stay humble.