|Servants and Stars
"Servants and Stars" is a piece of prose taken from my new novel, The Doorkeeper. It was written to warm all of us about the dangers of selfishness and self-righteousness. Rachel, having learned how easy it is to fall into this destructive trap, pens a piece of poetry of her own. It is titled "The Star", and is posted in this section as well. To understand the context of these two pieces completely, you should acquire the book and read the story.
Servants and Stars
Servants and stars! They coexist in many churches today, but their allegiance is to different masters. True servants of Christ know the meaning of surrender; they have laid down their right to themselves to follow His call and example. His words have become their own: “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
Stars, on the other hand, have been seduced by the god of this world. They’ve bought into the lie that he preaches, seeking fame, glory, and autonomy. He encourages his followers to “do their own thing” and promises, “Ye shall not surely die…ye shall be as gods.”His corrupting influence is obvious and as rampant in contemporary Christianity as it is in the world.
Servanthood isn’t popular, and it’s definitely a hard sell to selfish people. It is, however, a necessary part of our spiritual training and maturity. Salvation only begins the life of sanctification that sets us on the path to transformation, which takes place during our lifelong earthly journey. Glorification is only attained at the end of the age when the saints of God have finally been conformed to the image of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Unfortunately, too many believe that they can serve both God and the world and still remain pure. Jesus said otherwise! “No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
Those seeking stardom rather than servanthood should remember that celestial stars are merely self-luminous gaseous bodies that produce tremendous amounts of energy in the form of heat and light. And their earthly counterparts aren’t much different! They are like the nova, a star that increases in brightness only to eventually fade into obscurity. True light only comes from living in the light of the teachings of Jesus Christ. Everything else is utter darkness.
Are you deceived? Are you walking in the light or communing with the darkness? Let’s look at some of the attitudes that become prevalent when we begin to produce “stars” instead of “servants.”
The S-N-O-B-B-E-R-Y Express
Stars have a superior attitude towards others. Their arrogance leads them to believe they are different—better! Their gifts may be greater, their pedigree more sterling, their position one of eminence. They look down on those who fail to measure up to their high standards. In so doing, they differ little from the Pharisees of biblical days, those who Jesus called “hypocrites,” a Greek word meaning “actors.” These pretenders are not real Christians, as they have none of the Good Shepherd’s love or compassion for His sheep.
These attitudes of superiority are noxious, producing poisonous toxins harmful to the body of Christ. Morally corrupting, their pernicious pride influences and harms weaker brethren who struggle to be like them. They even set a dangerous example for those who walk in darkness, who see them more clearly than they know.
Stars always belong to the “in-crowd,” those fortunate few who reign and rule and live for the praise of men. This Pharisaical oligarchy (government by the few) is quite manipulative and controlling. These sacred cows control the masses that blindly aspire to be like them. Even publicans today have risen in their ranks to battle them for position at the top. Knowing they can never fit in with the “holier than thou” crowd, they have formed a clique of their own. They glory in the testimony of their deliverance from the depths of sin, and their gratitude to God is eclipsed only by their emphasis on “ME.”
Ambition toward self-realization or the attainment of our own ideals has no place in the kingdom of God. It is insulting and blasphemous. Reverent displays of the proprieties of religion point to priggishness, not true devotion. Man’s purpose is to worship God. No one may steal the glory that belongs to Him alone.
The star’s bias toward self-interest is greater than most. We are all somewhat predisposed to bias, due to our inherent sin-nature. Yet, there are those select few who see themselves as the favorites of God. Their prejudicial views predispose them toward self-serving behavior, a subtle form of idolatry, perhaps, but idolatry nonetheless.
Their “special” status gives them rights others cannot enjoy. They believe they are entitled to all the benefits they deny the common man. And yet the Word declares only the humble shall be exalted—those who have learned to be holy among the mean, ordinary things of life.
Humility does not suit the star. In fact, their behavior is so coarsely ingrained it has become fatally recalcitrant to the teachings of Christ. Nevertheless, hope may yet be found in the mercy and grace of Almighty God. It is available to all who will repent. “If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.”
Unfortunately, walking in the light of their own deception, stars fail to realize their true color. Their white is really yellow. Lacking courage to see themselves in the light of Christ, they hide their cowardice behind their cool indifference and pridefully prance down the path that leads to utter destruction.
We are all sinners! How quickly we tend to forget the grace of God working in our own lives. It’s easy to look clean when we compare ourselves with other men. But when we compare ourselves with Christ, we see a different picture. And if we desire to serve Him at all, we must learn to love the sheep He died for. Ask yourself that question today: Do I love the sheep Christ died for? Do you? You can’t if you think you’re superior.
Stars travel on the S-N-O-B-B-E-R-Y Express. Follow at your own peril!
1 John 1:8-9 The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769.