Today’s reading is Mark 9:1-10:52.
Twice this year already, I’ve had opportunity to travel with some other preachers to hear a series of lectures by multiple preachers. On the way home, I noticed how easy it was for us (the preachers who had not been asked to be in these series) to talk about the mistakes the presenters had made. (To be fair, we also talked about the great lessons we heard and learned.)
One of the fellows traveling with us on both occasions was a young man who has just started working in a training capacity with a friend. Recognizing how much we were talking about the supposed mistakes of our brethren, I turned to the young brother and said, “Don’t mind us, this is the part of the trip in which we try to make ourselves feel better about our preaching.”
Sad, but that is often the way it works. Fortunately, on one of those trips we got to hear a great lesson on envy. That helped keep us in our own skin a bit.
However, I can’t help but think of this when I read of Jesus’ disciples arguing about who is the greatest in Mark 9:33-37. I still seem to get that backwards. Too often, I want to be the greatest, the greatest preacher, the greatest teacher, the greatest pray-er, the greatest song leader, the greatest whatever. That is not what being God’s child is about. God isn’t looking for the greatest. He’s looking for servants. He’s not looking for people who can prove how amazing they are. He’s looking for people who are asking, “What can I do next for others?”
The fact is, the preachers we heard in those two series did a great job. They didn’t do everything the way I would, but then why should they? God didn’t put us here to compete with each other. He put us here to serve as best we can. That’s what I need to do today.
Keep the faith and keep reading,
P.S. What struck you in today’s reading?