Enjoying the beautiful weather that is ours this time of the year, just prior to the burning summer that will follow, we sat on our patio enjoying dinner. As usual, the birds arrived to enjoy their meal also.
You will recall how I have been frustrated on occasion watching their actions while endeavoring to gorge themselves. We acquired a new feeder that made it almost impossible for the bigger birds to dominate, allowing the finches to eat uninterrupted. The first few days we noticed that a sense of pandemonium spread through the birds; everyone wanted to get to the food and yet it was not possible. Finally, the finches discovered that the other birds could not get into the small areas set aside for them and they could remain at liberty to eat without fear. Another development was that when the finches ate, they were knocking enough seed out to feed the larger birds below.
Gradually the doves, quail and a few other species recognized that if they left the finches alone, ample food would drop for them. This seemed to work good until this evening. Some felt that they were not getting sufficient and so they spent most of their energy trying to get the other birds removed from the area so that they could enjoy the food from above. Wings were flapping in every direction as they tried to jockey for position. Oh the price of greed! The insatiable quest to be at the top of the pack and deserving of recognition was a constant struggle for some.
The longer I watched the birds, the more I realized that they were not much different than people, and this tendency is not limited to the business world. Far too frequently it surfaces in our churches and in our church boards and organizations within the assembly. The position of a disciple as servant was not limited to a suggestion by Jesus; it is an explicit command. Matthew 10:24-40 is an excellent illustration of what Jesus had to say on the subject. More is said in Matthew 19:27-30. One will find much on the subject in Romans 12 with special emphasis on the 10th verse… ”Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor”.
Over the years I have discovered that it is the little dogs that are constantly barking and snipping. You ask, “Are you insinuating…?” Right on! When one spends more effort and time promoting himself than doing the job or entrustment that God has given him, it becomes a sad commentary on Christianity.
Here is something I recently read: “A humble saint looks like a citizen of Heaven.” We all need to learn afresh that jockeying for position is not glorifying to God; it is divisive in the church and it falls into the category of, “the world, the flesh and the Devil”. I know, it is a tough subject and it is for the birds, but not for servants of the most high God.