As believers, we are all members of the body of Christ as explained in I Corinthians 12:26-28. The latter passage explains that the Lord has given us each a spiritual gift and that our gifts work together for the furtherance of the heavenly kingdom. Today, however, I would like to bring special attention to the way in which we use and work in our spiritual gift. It is always important for us to remember that though this gift may call upon us to lead others in certain areas, we must operate under our gift in humility — not for ourselves and our glory but to glorify our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Let us take a look at our text in Matthew 23:5-12:
5 But all their works they (the scribes and the Pharisees) do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, 6 And love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, 7 And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.
8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. 9 And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. 10 Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ. 11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.
In this text, Jesus is addressing not only His disciples but also a multitude and advising them on how not to conduct themselves. Jesus explained that the scribes and Pharisees did not know how to handle power. When they did good works through the means of their office, they did not do them to honor God or even for the sake of being kindhearted. They did good works in order to receive praise and recognition for doing so. As teachers, they were not so much concerned with providing understanding as they were with being called by the title of teacher — Rabbi. Furthermore, Jesus reminds us in verses 9 and 10 not to “get it twisted.” Though some are privileged to teach and lead others, no man serves as a spiritual father or master. God the Father is the one and only spiritual father and master.
On the other hand, Jesus tells us as believers to exude humility in verses 11 and 12. If God has blessed you to lead others, no matter how many or how few, do not let it go to your head. Instead, remember that the gift you have is not your own but that of the Lord. God planted it inside of you to use for His purpose, and just as easily as the Lord planted it there, He can very easily uproot it. Do not get caught up in the idea of power. Do not get caught up in titles. Jesus explicitly tells us that “he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.” He also tells us that He will reward us for honoring this command: “he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.” Jesus also gives a more in-depth explanation of how He rewards humility in Matthew chapter 6.
All in all, All Christian News family, simply remember that when God calls you to be a leader in the body of Christ, He is simultaneously calling you to be the biggest most humble servant you can be. Have a blessed day!
The founder of Your Black Poets, Ayvaunn Penn is an award-winning writer pursuing her graduate degrees in dramatic writing and acting. Click to follow her on Facebook and Twitter. To have Ayvaunn Penn feature your original poetry on Your Black Poets, click here.