Pause

God’s words challenge you to live a life worthy of imitation.

Step into the challenge of these words today and be reminded that you are called to shine light into darkness, and the light you shine points back to the love of God.

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Listen

“Everything they do, they do to be noticed by others. They make extra-wide prayer bands for their arms and long tassels for their clothes. They love to sit in places of honor at banquets and in the synagogues. They love to be greeted with honor in the markets and to be addressed as ‘Rabbi.’”

Matthew 23:5-7

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Think

Leadership is a misunderstood practice. A common mistake is to assume that the person with the most wealth or who is a great public speaker or who comes up with great ideas is a natural leader. This misunderstanding is built on a faulty assumption that was already present in the days of Jesus. While there is nothing inherently wrong with leaders having the characteristics mentioned above, leadership is not about being seen and praised for your work.

The same holds true for leaders in communities of faith. The Pharisees behaved in ways that glorified self. They wanted to be seen and recognized for their achievements. This false sense of leading by being the most holy was simply misplaced. They had been led astray by the idea that they were somehow “better than” others.

A practice of faith that comes at the expense of others is simply wrong. It is not what Jesus taught or modeled. Jesus always pointed back to God. He repeatedly refused to make his ministry about himself. The god of self is a powerful idol… and one that leads many astray.

Brian Foreman

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Pray

God, help me to see my pride, especially where it is harmful to others. Lead me to be an authentic follower rather than an impostor. I pray I always lead seeking your will, not the praise of humanity. Amen.

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Go

You are the light of your community.

You are the salt of the neighborhood.

You carry God’s truth to the places you go.

Be confident that imitating Christ is your call, even imperfectly.

Be bold in lifting others up in a world that seeks to put them down.

Remember your brothers and sisters, and pray for them this day.

Amen.

Brian Foreman

Brian Foreman is the Executive Director of the Center for Church and Community at Campbell University in Buies Creek, NC. He lives in Raleigh with his family, which includes a new 4-legged member since this summer.

Take My Life and Let it Be

Jim McConnell

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