…they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit. Acts 6:5
Do you ever look at others and feel less-than? Do you perceive others are more valued, useful, and gifted? Do you feel like you get stuck with all the “less impressive” assignments? Do you feel like you are always in the shadows, while others are brightly shining in the spotlight? I think many people struggle with this (even if we hate to admit it)! And when this is our mindset, we are quick to bristle at things like submission and the apostles saying things like, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables.” (Acts 6:2).
But let’s call it what it is…pride. It is a posture of self-pity and a desire for self-glorification. Contrast that with Stephen, one of the seven chosen to serve the widows. He is a picture of a beautiful, faithful, spirit-filled, unafraid and undeterred servant of God. He had the opposite reaction to being a part of this community. He wasn’t in the spotlight. He wasn’t in a leadership position. He was a regular guy; a Greek convert to Christianity. But God was his focus and prize. He joyfully stepped into his new role of service. And wow, was God ever beside him in it.
Instead of taking offense at a serving role, feeling it is below him or not an elevated enough status for his impeccable reputation and spiritual stature, Stephen thrives with his eyes fixed upward. He is filled with grace and power. He does great wonders and signs among the people. And this… “gazing at him, all who sat in the council saw that his face was like the face of an angel.” Oh, to be like Stephen.
When we step into our calling and ordained assignment instead of coveting someone else’s, the beautiful and holy happen. Our lives are in sync with what we were created to do. It is like a puzzle piece nestled in its created place. There is joy in living in our unique purpose each season. God, let us never look down at any assignment from You. Let us humbly and boldly step into them and allow the Holy Spirit to guide us. May we desire expansion of Your kingdom over expansion or our status.
Question: Do you generally embrace your assignments or covet the assignment someone else has been given?