Humbly Number 1
“. . . He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. . . .” Mark 9:36
Ambition is not wrong, if it’s aimed in the right direction. That is, towards God’s greater good. Ambition for self can be an atrocity. “Who is the greatest in the kingdom?” is a good question. If answered properly, it leads to a revelation of true humility. However, if the driving motive is personal comparison or completion, it will certainly lead to jealousy, ego and hatred of others. When our ambition for ourselves is greater than our love for our Lord, a root of bitterness is created.
Jesus gave the disciples a dramatically memorable rebuke. He took one of Peter’s children and sat him in their midst so that all eyes were focused on the child. It’s as if Jesus is saying, “This will save me a great deal of explaining, if you will just look at this child, notice it’s temperament, trust, spirit and disposition. This is what I want from you.”
Suddenly, in one moment, all the disciples’ vain ambitions vanish. As they look at the child, they see no great achievement for which to strive, no real strength or self-control with which to aspire. No lofty dedication or devotion they might use to impress Jesus. They see neither intellectual ability to handle deep, theological concepts, nor impressive depth. They saw nothing that would help them fulfill their ambition.
As they gazed on the child, they saw a person, unconscious of any ability, assets, stature, talent and worth. What they saw was true humility, a humility that did not think of itself as being humble, and was, therefore, humble. To be aware of our humility is to be completely without it.
Today, practice being aware of the fact that you are His child, and that is enough. Today live from the heart.