Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Discussing Who Was the Greatest

By Melanie Rigney

My son, when you come to serve the LORD, stand in justice and fear, prepare yourself for trials. Be sincere of heart and steadfast, incline your ear and receive the word of understanding, undisturbed in time of adversity. Wait on God, with patience, cling to him, forsake him not; thus will you be wise in all your ways. (Sirach 2:1-3)

Commit your life to the Lord, and he will help you. (Psalm 37:5)

They came to Capernaum and, once inside the house, he began to ask them, "What were you arguing about on the way?"  But they remained silent. For they had been discussing among themselves on the way who was the greatest.  Then he sat down, called the Twelve, and said to them, "If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all." (Mark 9:33-35)

Lord, bless the people who annoy me and help me change to love them in Your name.

It was a joke, I guess.  Or maybe a misguided attempt to be helpful. Or maybe I was overly sensitive. Most likely, it was a combination of all three.

An acquaintance, who is quite sure her vocation as a wife and mother is the most difficult and most favored of all the vocations the Lord instills in us, sent to a group of us an email. Intended for single women, the subject line was a bastardization of Luke 9:23: “If any man would come after me, let him.”  Because, apparently, every single woman desires that a man, any man, will crook his finger and because any woman who finds herself single at any stage of her life regardless of experience or history is incomplete in the Lord’s eyes.

With prayer, I resisted the temptation to respond to the group, or to her privately. Attempts to engage with her in person with similar comments have not borne visual fruit. Maybe her lens on this is cloudy, but maybe mine is when it comes to her challenges. Maybe, like the apostles on the way to Capernaum, this is a discussion about greatness that simply doesn’t need to be had… or acknowledged. After all, the Lord loves her as much as He loves me. And so, as a friend would put it, I picked up my cross of judgment and self-defensiveness, swallowed it, and followed.

Resolve not to over-react today when you feel persecuted. 

(Image credit: Published before 1923 and public domain in the U.S.

No comments: