Graduate, Be Like Jesus!
Perhaps the gravest danger facing every graduate is pride. The New Testament is very clear about this sin.
As Christians we are members of one another, a Body with many different yet equally important parts. The members of this Body neither envy each other nor debate their relative importance. Each of us has a job to do, and we are to carry out our God-given responsibilities in humility, however prominent – or however unseen – those responsibilities may be. Each is to fulfill his task without conceit and without false humility. Whatever gifts we have come from God, and we must use our gifts not for our own personal prestige but for the common good.
When Paul wrote to the Romans, he spoke of “the grace that is given to me of God” (Rom. 15:15). Paul regarded himself as nothing more than the receiver and transmitter of grace. It is one of the great warnings of Scripture that if we pride ourselves in our own abilities we cease to be a pipeline through which the grace of God can flow out to others.
If anybody had the right to be proud, it was the apostle Paul. He had been given the privilege of knowing great secrets about the kingdom of God and of being the instrument by which the Gospel went out to the Gentiles. Yet these privileges did not make Paul arrogant. He was always more concerned that Christ should be seen in him than that he should be noticed. To the Ephesians he wrote, “It is to me, less than the least of all the saints, that this grace has been given” (Eph. 3:8). Privilege made Paul humble, not proud; and to emphasize this point he coined a term: “leaster.” Paul was less than the least – the “leaster” – of all God’s sanctified people. One of the great disservices we can to do our fellow believer is to forget this truth and to make him think that he is inferior to us.
There is only one Body. Christ is its Head, and when He ascended on high He gave gifts to men. This is the essential difference between the man of God and the man of the world. The Christian is under the authority of his Head and does everything by the grace of Christ, just as every part of a healthy body moves at the behest of the brain. The man of God shines as a light, but the light is not his own. It is the light of Christ shining through him.
If we would serve Christ, let us have His mind and lay aside our personal ambitions, our pride, and our desire for prominence. Instead, let us have His humble and selfless desire to serve rather than be served.
December 10, 2013
David Alan Black is the editor of www.daveblackonline.com.