“The greatest among you must be a servant. But those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” 23:12
Jesus’ kingdom is so entirely upside down. Reading chapter 23 is such a thorough reminder of how little God cares about your religious follow-through and how deeply he cares about your heart.
The verses above jumped out to me because it’s so counter-intuitive to how our flesh reacts to any sort of power or control. Serving others with humility are truly godly qualities that flow out of knowing and loving a humble, serving God.
But you know what I’ve noticed recently? Pride can seep in everywhere, even our servanthood. We begin to adore ourselves and how sacrificial, prayerful and loving we are. (I write this after realizing I was way too pleased with myself earlier today for taking time to pray for a friend.)
Do you find yourself mistakenly laying your worth in your behavior, good or bad?
It’s so easy to slip into a box-checking relationship with God.
He doesn’t just want you to mindlessly tithe. He wants you to trust him with your finances and give freely, preventing greed from growing in your heart. He doesn’t want you to focus on the fleeting currency of this world, but on the eternal currency of the kingdom. He invites us to come alongside him in his work; he doesn’t need our money, but so much beauty comes out of offering it up to him.
He doesn’t want you to merely appear godly. To attend church every week, to display an open Bible, to mindlessly check off a Christian To Do list. He wants to be in relationship with you. He wants to sort out the hurt in your life, unpack the past and heal you. Redeem you. Reform you.
Today, take time to notice your spiritual tendencies. Are they flowing naturally out of a relationship with God? Or are they more of a spiritual performance you find yourself forced to display?