Sunday, July 24, 2005
Peter, the "stone" of Jesus' disciples, at times seemed as useful to his Master as a pebble in His sandal. Yet, the "stone" humbly subjected himself to his Master's discipline and learned to love his place among Christ's body. So well did the bombastic fisherman fall into line that Jesus inspired him to write letters to believers that became part of our guide for life. The man who denied Jesus three times at His point of greatest need became a chief officer in Jesus' chain of command. Leadership is both a high privilege and a grave responsibility. Has any one of us, in his most secret thoughts, not wondered how someone else was assigned some church office while we weren't even considered for the job? We wouldn't call it envy; far from it. But the thought was there. Before any of us consider him or herself qualified for some high-profile position, whether in the church, at work, or with the government, let us examine our performance in our existing sphere of influence. Every one of us, for example, has the responsibility to govern his own mind, to keep it focused on whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report. If we can't control our own brains, how can take in charge of anyone else? Each of us has charge of our own eyes, to view only what is profitable for godly living. If we can't control our own eyes, well ... Each of us has charge of our own hands, to possess only what is rightly ours, working honestly for our daily bread. If we can't control our own hands, well ... Each of us has charge of our own feet, to follow the righteous path God has prepared for us. If we can't control our own feet, well ... Most of us rank-and-file Christians have no aspirations toward church leadership and cannot imagine ourselves in charge of anything. But the most lowly of us are already high up in a chain of command. God has commissioned us with the responsibility for controlling ourselves. Let us fulfill that most basic of commands before taking on broader responsibilities.