Today’s readings are Proverbs 25-26 and Acts 4:23-37.
“Don’t work yourself into the spotlight; don’t push your way into the place of prominence. It’s better to be promoted to a place of honor than face humiliation by being demoted.” Proverbs 25: 6-7
I found the proverbs for my day to be like a treasure chest full of unexpected surprises and valuables. I just couldn’t stop thinking about the above section from chapter 25. Now since I work in a church I have thoughts pertaining to the church building running through my mind but I believe that all of this would apply to my non-christian friends reading this in their place of business.
Some common phrase that I hear said around any church building are: “I wish we would do such and such,” or “Why won’t the pastor do such and such?” In some cases there is merely a complainer wishing to share their point of view. Other instances it’s a genuinely concerned individual. However, the individual seems to be waiting for someone else to take care of an issue. Why is this?
Sometimes I wonder if we (Christians) have hidden by the parts of the Bible that hold humility high. “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” – Philippians 2:3. I wonder this because when a talented person is asked to perform a task that they have concern about, they appear to immediately considered everyone to be better for the job than themselves.
I’m reminded of Disney/Pixar’s film Robots. In the animation a robot named Rodney is taught a phrase from his Television inventor hero. This phrase becomes a montra for Rodney’s life. “See a need, fill a need.” Throughout the film the viewer discovers that an evil corporate robot as discontinued the production of repair parts for all older models of robots. Rodney immediately sees a need – robots need to be fixed. Thus, he goes to the mayor of Robot City and wonders why the mayor wont stop this. NO! He is a talented individual and takes to fixing other robots to the best of his ability with junk lying around the streets. Since Rodney is the only robot to perform repair jobs, and he quickly becomes famous.
My thoughts go back to the Proverb. It appears that the Bible is warning against performing a task with the agenda of showing themselves off. The Proverb states that it will be humiliating when you’re demoted from the position that you worked yourself into. Why would you be demoted? Who knows? However, I do see through the Rodney illustration that I consider Rodney heroic because he is filling a need in the midst of diversity without looking for any recognition. GET THIS though – the humility of Rodney doesn’t cancel out his performing the task that needs to be completed.
What tasks do you see around you that need to be completed?
When you do get a lot of recognition for the work you perform, what do you do with that recognition?
What are your talents?