“…but to the humble he gives favor.” (ESV)
Recently I was at the hospital and saw a group of doctors having coffee together. All of them were wearing stethoscopes around their necks.
I wonder why. Maybe they just didn’t have time to put them away. It’s hard to be sure. And I don’t want to judge.
But I wonder if stethoscopes are a status symbol. Let’s speculate for a minute. Since our society regards doctors very highly, was it a way to silently proclaim, ‘Hey, I’m one of the important ones!’
The same thing can happen in the church. Although there is nothing wrong with fancy robes, when they’re paired with over-the-top and holy-sounding words they too can become status symbols. ‘Hey, I’m one of the important ones!’
Fact is, status symbols are all around us. Some expensive brand names prominently display logos on clothing and accessories just so that others can see them. I could also mention things like how many people liked your Instagram or Facebook post, or a front lawn that could qualify for Home and Garden magazine.
‘Hey, I’m one of the important ones!’
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no monk. As I type this I’m wearing an expensive North Face jacket. And I like it when my lawn looks nice.
But the reason I bring it up is to say that being “successful” and being faithful are not necessarily the same thing.
It’s easy to confuse the two because if we have great friends and things, and if we have an awesome job or home, we can interpret those blessings as a divine stamp of approval on how much better we are as people.
But we’re not.
And when you think about it, it’s actually exhausting to live a life that puts too much stock in impressing other people.
So sometimes you just have to ask yourself: Who am I trying to impress? The gods of envy? Or the humble servant Saviour?
I think it’s good to enjoy life—and even to live it up a little when the time is right. But being “successful” and being faithful are not necessarily the same thing.
Who are you trying to impress?
By Matthew Ruttan