Monday, 08 January 2018
Question to ask in evaluating our hypocrisy: Do we assert our superiority over others?
Jesus continues, "and respectful greetings in the marketplaces, and being called by men, Rabbi. But do not be called Rabbi; for One is your teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. And do not be called leaders; for One is your leader, that is Christ."
Let's be clear. Jesus is not denying teachers and spiritual leaders in the church. He is not saying we should not have them or even refer to them in positions of authority. What he is denouncing is those who use their authority in a sense of superiority over others. In this way, Jesus is saying, you are usurping the sole and true Authority, Jesus Christ. There is only one True Teacher, One True Father, one True Leader, Christ.
No spiritual leader should draw any person, any follower, anyone away from Christ. They should never do anything that will bring them closer to their loyalty than to Jesus Christ.
A few probing questions to ask the pride in your heart: Does your heart delight in receiving honor over other people? Do you find comfort whenever you realize that you are in a better or a higher position than someone else? Are you prone to, even in your mind, exalt yourself above others? Do you compare yourself with other people, subconsciously measuring yourself against them to discern your own level of spirituality?
C. S. Lewis said, "If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed." The problem of comparison and competition drives us too often to one up another, to be better than another person, smarter, richer, popular, liked, better looking. This only drives the pride up in us to exert our authority, our superiority of goodness of being better over others. This is hypocrisy.
Instead, remember we are all brothers and sisters in Christ. We are all equal before the throne. We are all deemed sinners who fall short of God's glory. We are saved by the same method, faith in Christ alone. There is only one is above all, who is superior, He is Jesus.
Let us live equally, lead humbly, and treat one another fairly in all things. Humility begins with recognizing one's pride and then seeing everyone on the same plane and place as you are. No one is to be above another in treatment. Humbly lead. Humbly teach. Humbly use your places of authority and position in order to glorify Christ and not yourself.