September 5, 2013

Status Symbols

It seems to be the human condition to compare ourselves to everyone else to see where we stack up and we use status symbols to do it. We compare by looking at what others wear, where they live, where they go on vacation, and what they drive. We even compare our kid’s grades in school. When we compare ourselves to everyone else using status symbols, our soul shrinks. There is nothing wrong with status symbols. It’s just that when we use them to determine our value through comparison, it dries up our soul. I’ve tried many antidotes for this over the years, but there is only one thing that works. It is in serving others, especially those who can’t repay you or return a favor.

This is different from networking which is a mutually beneficial relationship, “Hey, I’ll help you if you help me.” When we serve someone who can’t serve us back or do anything for us in return, we break the grip of the status symbol syndrome. When we befriend someone who has no status symbols we are truly giving from the heart with no motive for gain. Romans 12:16 says, “…Consider everyone as equal, and don’t think that you’re better than anyone else. Instead, associate with people who have no status…” (CEB)

We become more like Jesus through serving others. Philippians 2:3-8 says, “Do nothing from rivalry or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant…” (ESV) Let’s strive to see people, not through their status, but through the eyes of God.