For everyone looks out for their own interests,
not those of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:21 (NIV)
When you watch children playing you will soon witness an interesting problem that is sure to happen if they play long enough.
They will engage in a game where someone must go first and the rest follow after. Everyone will want to be the first to go whether it is to pick up a card, roll dice, or whatever. Going first makes the child feel important and feeds their ego.
Sometimes people grow up physically and never seem to grow up emotionally. They will still want to be first in any activity. Winning the game is all that is important to them. So they seek any advantage they can manipulate in order to come out first.
This is really a selfish attitude to have and it has ruined many relationships in life as people seek to work their way to the front of the line in order to be first.
Christians are not exempt from such self serving attitudes. We read in Luke 22:24 (NIV)
“A dispute also arose among them
as to which of them was considered to be greatest.”
So Jesus’ followers can often be anxious to see that they come first, and the rest of those who follow Jesus can fight over the other positions in the coming kingdom.
As it broke our Lord’s heart back then on the night of the betrayal, so it should break our hearts when we see quarrels and divisions among us as Christians. Who’s first should never trouble us as long as we are included somewhere in the line up of God’s followers.
Perhaps you have been slighted by another Christian who was concerned to be “first” somehow. It might be that you have lost friends over the jealousy of another person in the church. Possibly you have been gossiped about, your character has been unjustly slandered—or some other negative action by others—as they seek to be first.
Keep quiet and let the Lord speak to the offending person. Always remember that the Lord knows the truth and you should be satisfied with that. A day is coming when all hearts shall be revealed and no one will be able to cover up their selfish actions and attitudes.
Let it be enough that you are right with the Lord whatever others may think about you. Your loving heavenly Father will give you your reward in His time. How much better it will be to have praise from the Lord than the praise of others.
Remember that when the Lord’s faithful servant enters the wonders of heaven the Lord shall say to them,
“Enter into the joy of your Lord”
That praise shall make up for all the recognition you lacked down here.
Who’s first? It really does not matter. Your turn will come as surely as tomorrow. Wait on the Lord and you shall not be put to shame.