Genesis 29-30 & Matthew 10:1-23

12 Special people; 12 tribes through which a nation was born; 12 men given the authority for healing, delivering, and blessing many.  What power and what holy responsibility!  To be special, sought out, thought of as wise, and walking alongside the powerful can swell the ego of most, if not all of us at one time or another.  C.S. Lewis says in his essay, “The Inner Ring,” from The Weight of Glory, the following: “I believe that in all men’s lives at certain periods, and in many men’s lives at all periods between infancy and extreme old age, one of the most dominant elements is the desire to be inside the local Ring and the terror of being left outside.”

In the world of work, I have entertained this wish too many times.  Even if I kept the desire to myself, yes, even deceived myself into thinking that I was far above such pettiness, I have been slammed by the green-eyed monster of jealousy and the desperation of self-preservation.  I was reminded of this fact this week only because the events were too obvious to deny.

Disturbing. Embarrassing. Frightening. I am found out by my own conscious.  It is not hard for me to relate to Reuben, Jacob’s first born, when the very brother he envies and sells into slavery becomes 2nd in command of Egypt.  I feel his relief in Joseph’s forgiveness; his total submission and acceptance of God’s plan to raise up another more suited to the task.  What of Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve apostles commissioned by Jesus Christ?   What sorrow and fear after his lips touch the Master’s and their eyes lock for the last, eternal time?  These stories began with the promised elite, the chosen, the Inner Ring, yet most failed from time to time as evidenced by competitive and disloyal words or deeds.

Is it possible to come together for godly intent as a collective group and remain neutral or less than as a member of that group?  Or will we, even in those honorable situations, feel prodded to be first or nearest to the top of leadership? Without the Spirit of truth from God, Himself, there is little hope that I can root out my own common need to be first or to be recognized.

Before it is too late and mistakes that cannot be undone are committed, I pray that God reveals, just as He did this week, the weakness in me that seeks its own. I would rather go back to the trenches and live in humility than live in the limelight, grappling for power. So says my redeemed soul!

Janet

2 Comments

Filed under 66 Books, Genesis, Matthew, Old Testament

2 responses to “Genesis 29-30 & Matthew 10:1-23

  1. Kathy

    It’s so easy to slide into that envy and not even realize it. Happens at work, in churches. Crazy. Even more ironic, it seems that those in that ring often never feel like they’re really in. What is it they say? You can never be rich enough, skinny enough, pretty enough, powerful enough. FINALLY, because of Jesus, when we are in God’s company we are enough. Beautiful post, Janet!

  2. I vaccilate between being too naive about what goes on ‘by the water cooler’ to trying to hold onto the illusion of having some measure of control. It is safer and calmer, as you say, in the company of Jesus Christ. He alone satisfies all hopes and desires!

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