Cutting Off My Thumb


tree branch

I stood on the top rung of my ladder cutting some branches from the tree with a hack saw. I was being so very, very careful not to cut off my thumb. I grabbed the branch underneath the thick bush of leaves and held it firm while I positioned the saw where I intended to cut. I began to saw … but fell off the ladder!

Competition in the body of Christ is one of the things I’ve grown to hate more with each year of my life. Pastors compete to have the biggest congregation and build a bigger building. Evangelists compete to get the most people saved and get more speaking engagements. Churches compete to protect property and neighborhoods and people they believe belong to them. Individual believers compete to use their spiritual gifts and be noticed. We seek to preserve “our portion” of whatever it is to the neglect of those standing right next to us.

We may say that it’s all for Him, but it’s really about self. There is no service to Christ when we exclude other saints for our own welfare.

The mother of the apostles James and John went to Jesus and asked that He make her sons the greatest in His kingdom. She did what most mothers would do for their sons: seek the best for their own boys without caring about anyone else.

The answer Jesus gave is a strong message not practiced today by many Christian people, pastors or churches. The rulers of the heathen lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them. You it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave (Matthew 20:25-27).

You cannot build your church, your ministry, or your Christian walk by tearing down another. You can’t protect your thumb by neglecting the body on the ladder.


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