Spiritual Pecking Order

by | Sep 12, 2016 | 2016, Musings | 0 comments

climbing-ladder-1940x900_34483When I was in Bible college, there was a very clear pecking order for those who wished to serve the Lord as their vocation (“full time service”). At the top of the spiritual heap, were the missionaries. Then came the pastors. And next in line came all the girls who married one of those leaders or at least taught in a Christian school.  The bottom rung was reserved for those gals who were secretaries in a church.

Pecking orders like that are not new. In the first century, the members of the Sanhedrin isolated themselves in a kind of order. The Pharisees were the scholars and pietists. They focused on studying and prayer. But in addition to the written law of the Torah, they believed in oral tradition.

But the Sadducees looked down on the Pharisees.  The Sadducees asserted that only the written law was viable to be followed. As priests they focused on the temple and the sacrifices performed there. They believed they were more spiritual than the “blue collar” Pharisees.

And the Essenes didn’t think either of those other groups was spiritually sharp enough, so they moved out to the desert in order to isolate themselves from the rest of Jewish society and focus on serving the Lord. Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls) was one such “spiritual” community.

Before we look down our proverbial noses at these groups who classify themselves as they attempt to serve Christ, let’s be careful. It is still so easy to measure us against others in our life.

You know, we say things like, “Well, I am in church more than him.” Or, “I know we give more than that family.” Or, “Our kids are certainly serving the Lord as young adults, but look at theirs.”

This week is a good time to measure us against the true standard, Christ. In God’s sight, there really isn’t any pecking order and no matter what reference point we use, you and I come up miserably short. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)

So instead seeking a higher rung on the spiritual ladder, let’s remember that God does not primarily delight in what category of service we find ourselves in, nor what gifts we bring to the table. He delights in using what we actually surrender to Him.

Regardless of our job, our title, our status or family structure, we are all called to “live a life worthy of the calling” we have received (Eph. 4:1). For me, that’s hard enough.



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