The lights dim; high-powered colored lights flash; the crowd cheers; the spotlight is on you. The world’s a stage and you want to be the only actor in full view. The blinding spotlight shuts off God but you go about basking in the limelight of being the center of everyone’s attention. Ever experienced that before? I have.
I’ve been a part of a band made up of like-minded Christians who frequently share the gospel through evangelistic concerts. You would expect that being in a Christian band would enable everyone to perform with the right motives. But, sometimes, that isn’t the case.
The allure of the stage is something unexplainable, only experiential. Having people clap after each song, coming up to you after a program and telling you how well you’ve done is a great feeling. Soon enough, the spotlight is what many performers crave after.
It beckons the question: Do we yearn to have the light of the world upon us or to be the light of the world?
The disciples in Jesus’ time were not spared from desiring to be in position of glory. In Mark 10:35 -44 we read of the account of James and John asking to sit in the places of honor.
Their request was one that was over the top when they requested to be given seats at the right and left of Jesus in heaven. This was not an ordinary request. It was one that would have elevated James and John above all the other apostles.
Jesus said that it was not His decision to grant such a favor. He then taught the disciples that biblical greatness is different from the world’s understanding. Those great in the world exercise their authority over people. However, a Christian who wants to be great is to be a slave. Even the Son of Man came to serve and not to be served.
This truth shocked me. We find the same truth in Philippians too.
5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,
7 but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.
Philippians 2: 5 – 7 (ESV)
The King of kings came to be a servant. It was way beyond comprehensive logic that a King would do such a thing. But this was the love that God had for His people. Jesus served to the point of death.
When we reflect upon this truth, we can’t help but be amazed at what Jesus was willing to do for us. His Servanthood is indeed something that we are to emulate. This issue of hoarding the limelight is sinful because we are meant to give all glory unto God. His glorification is our priority.
The world walks by without noticing you. People sneer at your Christian “antics” and persecute you. But God watches every step you take, providing encouragement through His Word. He causes His face to shine upon you and peace that surpassed all understanding to fill you. God is awaiting to commend you, “Good and faithful servant, in whom I am well pleased.”
Written By Isaac Tan for YMI