And He sat down, and called the twelve, and saith unto them, If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all, and servant of all.
the second fiddle attitude Published week of SEPTEMBER 27, 2020
While on earth, Jesus taught His disciples that greatness doesn’t come from what you acquire, accumulate or accomplish. It is not found in the power you hold, the possessions you own, nor the place where you live. Where is greatness found? It is found in the people that you serve. Let me explain what the believer's attitude should be concerning serving other people.
One of the most frustrating things a church leader will tell you is how much of a struggle it often becomes to find enough people to serve within the local church. This often is the case of finding enough people to serve in the nursery with preschoolers, with children, or with teenagers. I believe the reason is that as Christians, our approach to service is often totally wrong. Jesus said the way to be great is to serve, then we should be thankful for any opportunity we get to serve and we should be looking for opportunities to serve.
This is one of the paradoxical truths Jesus taught, that is, the secret to success is service. Jesus said greatness starts at the bottom—not at the top. When you are like Jesus, you will take the least desired position, you will do the job nobody else wants to do, and you will find the worst seat in the house. There is a lot of wisdom in the statement from the great poet Henry Longfellow who once said, “Most people would succeed in small things if they were not troubled with great ambition.”
Foreign to the world's thinking, God-like leadership is servant leadership. Someone once asked Leonard Bernstein, the late New York Symphony conductor, what is the most difficult position of the orchestra? Without hesitation, the skilled musician replied, “second fiddle.” Do you know why playing second violin is so much tougher than playing a piccolo or a bassoon? It is not tougher physically but rather it is tougher emotionally, because everybody wants to be first chair violin, not second fiddle.
Jesus taught that you and I are going to approach life in one of two ways: either you are going to walk out the door of your house every day thinking, “How can I get other people to serve me?” or you are going to be thinking, “How can I serve other people?” What is your attitude toward service?
God, remind me that a true leader in Your Kingdom is a servant leader. Help me to be the person who looks for ways to serve others rather than to be served. Grant me satisfaction in being second fiddle—may my service point people first to You, and not to myself. In Jesus’ name, Amen.