“… whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant.” Matthew 20:26
We live in an upside-down world. It’s almost certain that the road signs to success are always mis-marked by the world. For example, if you want to be beautiful, the world says you must dress to reveal as much skin as possible, whereas the Word says beauty comes from the hidden person of the heart. If you want to experience a good time, the world says you need alcohol or drugs; otherwise, it’s dry and boring. The Word gives better directions to fun that require no alteration of the senses.
The same is true if you wish to find greatness. The world’s road signs point to academic achievement, wealth, and power. The more you have of any of these, according to the world, the higher your level of greatness. Some spend all their lives striving to make a name for themselves, sacrificing relationships and health for what can’t travel with them beyond the grave. At worst, many who reach “the top” experience disappointment that their accomplishment did not deliver the high it promised. At best, the high is short-lived and the slavedriver of success cracks the whip as he cackles, “Go higher, achieve more, work harder!”
Christ offers a far better way! He says that the road to success is marked “Servanthood.” Forgetting about yourself and focusing on the needs of others is counter-cultural and contrary to human nature, but it is the fool-proof way to greatness. Oftentimes, this road is void of the flashing marquee bearing your name or a mention through a microphone, but the eyes of the King itemize your every work of service and one day His great voice will say “Well done!” He won’t even need a microphone!
Resist the temptation to compare yourself to others who appear to be accomplishing so much and experiencing the glow and popularity of the limelight. Instead, measure your success by Christ’s map. How often are your footprints found on Assistance Avenue, Sharing Street, Provision Parkway, Compassion Cove, and Doing-For-Others-Drive? The world often visits these places with ulterior motives, but you can come with joy because you are simply passing on what God has lavished on you. Because He is all you need, you are free to serve simply out of love for Him and a desire for others to experience the same.
Which kind of success are you pursuing, My Friend? Do you need to make a detour? If so, Christ will meet you at the crossroads where you made a wrong turn and will gladly exchange your heavy burden of the world’s success for the lighter load of servanthood.