My wife and I took on the opportunity of sponsoring a kid overseas. It’s been quite a journey. You definitely have to keep an eye out to make sure you have funds for a someone who is in need of it. The thing that I have missed is that this has been one of the most important things I have ever done.
How did I miss this?
Any sane man would see that this was a very valuable pursuit. Sometimes, however, desire for certain positions of greatness can cloud judgement. I used to be a youth pastor. I have wanted to be a pastor ever since I left that position. It has been a desire that has enveloped many thoughts and efforts ever since I started college. Being like any other human being, my focus on this has led me to be blinded to other things that God has led me into along the way. Working outside of the Church has led to me to interact with unbelievers. Being a regular attendee has led me to see being a pastor with a different perspective. I have also experienced both humility and greatness in changing a life in a very simple way.
Changing one person’s life is how you change the world. That can be very difficult to see when you are trying to focus on your own future. Sure, doing good things are easy, but if you do not recognize that to be a result of the purpose God has given, you will still be frustrated and wondering when God is going to use you for great things.
Participation in the kingdom is about being least in the kingdom. How does that relate to my previous point? We are sometimes blinded by our own desire for greatness that we will miss the great things happening around us. Missing those moments of being a servant for God’s glory can cause us to resent those moments or miss out on them altogether. In Matthew 9:13, Jesus quotes Hosea 6:6 by declaring that God “desires mercy and not sacrifice.” The leading religious people of the day were always trying to find that next thing that they wanted to be involved in that had leadership and respect connected to it. They found purpose in their positions and not in the purposes God had made for them. Mercy, love, and justice are primary responsibilities of the believer. However, these can be lost when our main focus is on something that makes us feel important. To put it another way, “whoever is least among you is greatest.” (Luke 9:48)
Serving others or submitting tho their needs can never be replaced by a sense of self importance. Positions never bring importance and purpose. Instead, relationships do the heavy lifting in how we feel in regards to purpose and spiritual health. If you want position and status, you will get that only. No meaningful relationship can be built by just pursuing being a pastor, teacher, priest, etc. It can only come from interacting with the rest of God’s creation with mercy, love, and justice. Instead of trying to lift yourself up on a pedestal, lift others up above you and make sure they are the ones achieving greatness. The only way to be great in the Kingdom of heaven is to make others greater than you.