At about the same time, the disciples came to Jesus asking, “Who gets the highest rank in God’s kingdom?” Matthew 18:1 (MSG)
Wendy and I ate lunch out yesterday. The restaurant where we ate participated in a national trivia network, so I grabbed one of the controllers and we played as we ate lunch. I’m proud to say we finished number one at the local restaurant where we ate (we were the only ones playing). They even showed that we ranked 19th in the nation for that particular game. I was feeling pretty good about that.
There’s something in our pride at wanting to be number one. It’s especially obvious in men, though I think its just as present in women – it just masks itself in different ways. It starts on the playground, continues onto the court or ball field, then on to our educational system (What was your class rank?), and even into the corporate world. My friend, who has been interviewing incessantly for new jobs, was told by others that he should lie about his sales numbers and rankings on his resume because that was all that employers cared about. Maybe it is. Even fellow believers admitted to him that they lied about their “rank” to get a job and seemed unapologetically non-chalant about their deception.
This desire to be the best runs so deep inside us. I sometimes wonder how much it affects us in ways we don’t even notice. Is it so ingrained in my nature that I am blind to its negative effect on my life, my character, and my spirit?
Today, I want to be on the lookout for the existence of pride in my heart and life. If Jesus teaches me to root out the things that pollute my spirit, then I have to be willing to look for it.