Tag Archives: serving others

Me

Genesis 35-38

Reuben discovered his brother Joseph was missing. Joseph, the Golden Child, Dad’s favorite son wasn’t in the pit Reuben and the other brothers had dumped him in. Now, the boy was gone!

Had he somehow escaped and gone back to Dad to tell on them? It’s not like he hadn’t done that in the past. Had a wild beast gotten to him, dragged him away and killed him? Was he kidnapped by evil men who would abuse him? Reuben didn’t know. And he was visibly upset at the realization Joseph was gone.

I think we may have all experienced imagining the worse when something unknown happened. It’s understandable Reuben would be upset and worried, thinking about the “what if’s.”

But heres’ the kicker: Old Reuben wasn’t worried about Joseph! “What’s going to happen to ME?” he cried.”

Wow. Heartless!

Hold on before we get too judgmental here.

Someone is diagnosed with cancer. What am I going to do without her?

Friends are getting a divorce. Who are we going to hang out with now?

Oh, you might pity them for a second. But then your thoughts go to Me! Me! Me! Where’s the compassion?

This past Sunday, our SS class talked about the difference between pity and compassion. Pity is a feeling. Compassion is an action. I think God would have us save our pity if it isn’t followed with compassion.

The “I” is one of Satan’s favorite arrows to shoot at us. But I’m reminded God has told us to die to self every day. Crucify the “I.”

Let’s remember the world doesn’t revolve around “me.” Look around. Someone needs your compassion today. Make a call. Go to lunch. Write a note. Be a taxi or just sit and listen.

People are hurting. And it’s not about you! Be God’s hands, feet, and ears to someone who needs Him today.

October 26; Second Fiddle

John 11:17-57; Mark 10:32-52; Luke 18:31-34; Matthew 20:17-28

Do you ever read something in the Bible and think, “Wow. This is totally opposite of the wisdom of the day?” That’s what happened to me today.

We in the 21st Century are told to look out for number one, to tell ourselves we are strong and powerful and capable and perfect just the way we are. And we are teaching our children to believe they are those things, too.

On the surface that might sound like wisdom. But in God’s economy, it’s foolishness. In the passages we read today, God explains His economy and you might not like what He says:

“The last will be first.”

“Whoever wants to become great, must be a slave to all.”

(I don’t see those slogans on many t-shirts these days)

I went to my cousin’s funeral yesterday, and heard the account of a servant, a woman who was a selfless friend, whose house was always open and throw-together meals were commonplace (and she often used her gold-trimmed china for impromptu entertaining). She could sit for hours with a hurting neighbor without thought for her own comfort.

She’d taught music for nearly 60 years, and especially loved teaching young children how to play the violin. We heard of incidents when Beth Joy would go out of her way to take a student home after lessons, or drive them to performances, or how she would provide violins for children who couldn’t afford one.

But what impressed me most about my cousin was something I hadn’t realized. I knew she played in two large symphony orchestras, one in Ohio then one in Charlotte, NC when she and her husband moved there. But what I didn’t realize is that for over 40 years, Beth Joy played second violin.

As a musician myself, that speaks to me. And I was reminded of it today as I read what Jesus said to His disciples about “number one.”

The great orchestral conductor, Leonard Bernstein when asked what the most difficult instrument was to play said, “The second fiddle. I can get plenty of first violinists, but to find someone who can play the second fiddle with enthusiasm – that’s a problem, and if we have no second fiddle, we have no harmony.”

Beth Joy played second fiddle with enthusiasm. She was the harmony in the life of her family, friends, and students. Why? Because she was a tireless servant of her Lord, Jesus Christ. At 80 years of age, she was still teaching children how to play the violin up to six weeks before she died.

I am challenged today to enthusiastically play the position of second fiddle for Jesus’ sake and for His glory. One thing people kept saying yesterday was that Beth always pointed people to her Savior. It was never about her. It was always about Jesus.

What a privilege it is to play second fiddle in God’s economy, His orchestra called the Church. It’s not about me. It is always about Jesus.