Tuesday, October 29th, 2013
Roles, Ranks & Positions (Part 1)
Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.
Matthew 25:21, 23 (NKJV)
Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty Hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time.
1 Peter 5:6 (NKJV)
When did we get caught up in roles, ranks and positions? Surely, occupational prejudice is not new.
'Who is David, and who is the son of Jesse? There are many servants nowadays who break away each one from his master. Shall I then take my bread and my water and my meat... and give it to men when I do not know where they are from?' (1 Samuel 25:10-11).
'Keep to yourself. Do not come near me, for I am holier than you!' (Isaiah 65:5).
'God, I thank You that I am not like other men--extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this tax collector' (Luke 18:11).
'Is this not the carpenter's son?' (Matthew 13:55).
I grew up as the only daughter of a socially affluent family. We were surface Episcopalians, but deeply-rooted Southerners: members of Charleston's St. Cecilia Society--where entry comes by birth. We had position without money. But position was more important.
In college I met and married the only son of a simple and sincere family. He was an orphan--adopted and raised by Lebanese immigrants. They were God-fearing, rule-following Catholics. Therein, my husband and I were a cultural mismatch.
Following four years of college, four years of medical school and three years of residency, he became a doctor--with diplomas, certifications and suffixes to prove it. But while he studied, I left school and worked. The credentials on the wall were his--not mine.
Therein, we were an educational mismatch. He didn't care, but I did. I felt 'less than' among our credentialed friends. Because even in America, famous for social mobility and equal opportunity, we're still judged by...
Roles, ranks and positions; clothes, coins and careers; family, friends and possessions.
But consider these occupations of God's humble headliners: Abraham, Isaac and Jacob were herdsmen. Joseph was a slave. Gideon was a farmer. Rahab was a prostitute. David was a shepherd. Peter, James, John and Andrew were fishermen. Matthew was a tax collector. Paul was a tentmaker, and Jesus was a Carpenter.
Because 'The wisdom of this world is foolishness with God' (1 Corinthians 3:19).
To Be Continued...
P.S. To read the other devotions in this series, please see the Roles, Ranks & Positions series.