Who is the Greatest (According to God’s Economy)?
February 9, 2018
In our society, the economy is really important.
If you have money in the stock market, you know what I’m talking about. This past week, there has been a lot of anxiety and fear about the stock market going down. Is everything okay? Is this just a normal correction, or does it mean something worse? What does this say about our economy moving forward?
When it comes to our economy, what is the bottom line? I think at a basic level, we live in a society where people want to be the best and have the most.
I notice this desire within me. When my CrossFit coach writes a workout on the board, I want to complete the workout the fastest. In my work, I want to publish the most. When I think about my salary, I want more money.
Maybe you can connect with this desire to be the best and have the most. I think it’s a natural consequence of living in our society. But I don’t think this motivation to be the best and have the most lines up with God’s economy.
There is a passage in the book of Mark that clearly juxtaposes our economy and God’s economy.
They [Jesus and his disciples] came to Capernaum. When he [Jesus] was in the house, he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?” But they kept quiet because on the way they had argued about who was the greatest. Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “Anyone who wants to be first must be the very last, and the servant to all.” (Mark 9:33-35)
Jesus takes our economy and flips it on its head. In our society’s economy, the most valuable person is the one who is first, best, richest, strongest, loudest, most attractive, and most powerful. But in God’s economy, the most valuable person is the servant.
Our society values the person who comes in first. God values the person who loves and serves others.
Our society values the person who wins. God values the person who is humble.
What might happen in our lives, and in our world, if we take some of the energy we spend trying to be the greatest, and redirect it toward loving and serving others?
Discussion: What do you think about the contrast between our economy and God’s economy? Do you have a strong desire to be the best and have the most? How might you redirect some of that energy into loving and serving others?
First, leave CrossFit out of it…no excuses…go out there and kick ass and finish your WOD the fastest! 🙂
Second, and to your question, I often think of another verse: What does it profit a man if he gains the whole world and looses his own soul?” So what if I’m number ONE in whatever (fame, wealth, athletics, music) and the LOOSE it all at the end of my life? Sure I’d like to be at the “top of my game” but at what cost? If I’m putting others down to get on top, then I’ve crossed the line. How can I actually promote others I a way that they succeed and are “better” then me? I’ve heard it said that the mark of a good teacher is by the students that surpass them. I think there is truth to that.
Haha, well said John, I crushed the WOD this morning 🙂
But in all seriousness, I think you make some great points. What are we giving up in order to get to the top? If we have to let things slide like our integrity, it’s probably too high of a price. If our relationships with God, family, and friends suffer, it’s probably too high of a price. It’s good to invest our talents wisely, but there’s a balance here.