As Americans, we have rights: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But we have other rights too, correct? Right to a lawyer, right to vote, right to fair pay, right to etc. All of our rights were fought for, and we still fight for them today.
We believe we have other rights, and although they may or may not be in the constitution, we still believe we are entitled to them. We believe we are entitled to equality, a high-paying job, to be debt-free, successful relationships, success in general, etc.
As Christians (and also as ministers), we still believe we are entitled to things (not necessarily because of our Christianity, I’m saying in general). We are entitled to that seat in church that “is ours,” entitled to eat first at the potluck, entitled to the best parking spot, etc.
Did Jesus have something to say about this? Why else would I be writing this blog post?
And He began speaking a parable to the invited guests when He noticed how they had been picking out the places of honor at the table, saying to them, “When you are invited by someone to a wedding feast, do not take the place of honor, for someone more distinguished than you may have been invited by him, and he who invited you both will come and say to you, ‘Give your place to this man,’ and then in disgrace you proceed to occupy the last place. But when you are invited, go and recline at the last place, so that when the one who has invited you comes, he may say to you, ‘Friend, move up higher’; then you will have honor in the sight of all who are at the table with you. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” Luke 14: 7-11
Yesterday our guest-preacher at church talked about a “Mop Bucket Attitude.” Even when you are the highest position at your company, you should still be humble enough to mop the floors of the bathroom. He gave to illustrations–When he himself was the school principal, he was the one who, for some reason, was called every time a toilet was clogged. Perhaps it was because he was accustomed to having his hand in deep crap all day as a principal (cue laugh). He also told the story of a young man who was beaten in Africa. When he came over to school in America, the principal told him he could have any dorm room on campus. The young man says, “Give me the room that no one else wants.” The principal wept, as did I when I heard this.
I have been feeling extremely entitled when it comes to…everything. “I’ve been here longer, so I should get more benefits.” “I am an expert in X, therefore you are lucky you are even being graced with my presence.” “I know more than you about X, therefore I should be the leader of this organization.” Etc. We all feel this way sometimes. But what we need to be is humbled.
Phillippians 2 talks about how Jesus Christ, although God, humbled himself to be just as a man. This is the “Mop Bucket Attitude” that we need. “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.” Not even that, but he died for men.
We have the show “Undercover Boss”, a show where the CEO of companies start at the lowest job in their company and see how things run, as well as attempt to do the “Mop Bucket” jobs.
The difference between this guy and Christ is plain: Christ was willing to do these jobs, and never complained. Also, Christ is not a Cubs fan.
As Christians, we are called to abandon our rights. Our life is supposed to be about glorifying God. To hold onto what we believe we are entitled to is futile. We are not entitled to anything, but death. Yet God gave us grace, something that we SURE don’t have the right to have, and he sanctified us and made us righteous.