The Significant Ones
Christ chose to be the socially insignificant one. The fact that he descended from heaven to take upon himself the form of a servant is not an accident which now is to be thrust into the background and forgotten. No, every true follower of Christ must express existentially the very same thing – that insignificance and offense are inseparable from being a Christian. As soon as the least bit of worldly advantage is gained by preaching or following Christ, then the fox is in the chicken house.
Soren Kierkegaard, in Provocations (quoted by Plough Publishing House, “Daily Dig” email devotional, 11/15/17)
Sometimes in the life of faith we can only laugh at ourselves, confess our sin, and see that while we try to live as Christians there are moments when the best we can do is just look at the ideal from a distance. It’s natural, isn’t it, to want recognition for doing the right thing, to want success to attend faithful living, to measure our value by what others say to us or about us? There’s nothing really wrong with that, as long as we keep it in balance. Right? It’s just part of being human.
But then there’s this Jesus, who didn’t seem to live that way.
How many lives of deep and lasting faith, of simple and contagious joy, of steady and noble resilience carry on every day, moment after moment—hidden from our view? How many lives do you not even notice, but which make a positive impact on a higher percentage of folks in their orbit than the most famous among us?
Perhaps value isn’t volume, but quality.
Perhaps faith isn’t knowledge, but trust.
Perhaps love is more secret than dramatic.
Perhaps there’s a difference between a “faith-model” and a “role-model,” if the roles we aspire to are shaped by a society that values success over service.
Perhaps the “faith-model,” while harder to find because hidden, is the model we want.
Insignificance? In whose eyes? God often sees a bit differently than we do.