As the children in the neighborhood thought about the rules that would govern their club, they came up with three rather profound ones:
Rule #1 – Nobody act BIG
Rule #2 – Nobody act small
Rule #3 – Everybody act Medium
These are pretty good rules for children. Actually, they are pretty good rules for adults, too! Don’t we all know people who act “big” – cocky, brash, egotistical people who brag about what they have done? Don’t we also know people who act “small” – picky, petty gossips who put other people down? And, are we willing to face that fact that WE act “big” or “small” sometimes? In a world filled with “big” and “small” people, God has a different calling for those who want to follow Jesus.
[tweetable] This calling is spelled out by the Apostle Paul in Philippians Chapter 2, in which he challenges us to get beyond being “big” or “small,” to being truly “medium.” Don’t confuse being “medium” with being mediocre. “Medium people” are committed to excellence… but they get beyond self-centeredness to caring deeply about the interests of others. Medium people are humble, servant leaders who sacrifice themselves for the good of a family, a team, an institution or a cause bigger than themselves. Paul challenges us to model our lives on the example of Jesus Christ who sacrificed his life for us. But, remember that Paul is not asking us to try to imitate Jesus. That only leaves us feeling frustrated. The reason that so many Christians find following Jesus to be so difficult is that we try to do it on our own power. Instead, Paul encourages us to open our hearts to Jesus and ask the Risen Christ to live His life THROUGH us! This is the miracle of the Indwelling Christ. When Christ dwells within us, then God can mold us into “medium people.” To put it simply, it is only when we put to death the “big” person inside us and the “small” person inside us that we can allow Jesus to reshape our value system and mold us into “medium people” who put others first. Then, and only then, will we be fit to be God’s representatives in the world. With this theological truth clearly in mind, I invite you to go back and read the first eleven verses of Philippians Chapter 2. Savor them in silence. If we will allow these words to penetrate our mind and heart, then God can change the “big” person and the “small” person inside us into a “medium” person who is worthy to bear the name Christian. But, remember, changing us into “medium people” is God’s business…not ours!