“Do not put yourself forward in the king’s presence or stand in the place of the great; for it is better to be told, ‘Come up here,’ than to be put lower in the presence of a noble.” vss. 6-7
Through the centuries protocols have evolved to give guidance for behavior when in the presence of the great. As a result anyone even remotely connected to a royal court would have agreed with the wisdom offered in these verses from Proverbs. And these pecking orders don’t only exist in monarchies. Most people are very aware of where they stand in relation to those around them. They pay attention to matters of status and have a natural inclination to seek the highest levels. Unfortunately those means for measuring worth have even crept into the church. Even though there is equality in Christ, within the Body some callings are considered to be more honorable. We even talk of some leaders as having been elevated to the positions they hold. Sometimes bishops and evangelists behave as though they possess royal blood and deserve special treatment. Even their clothing sets them apart! What a blessing it is in our congregations when such notions are set aside and humility is the most valued virtue of leaders. We are not called to “lord it over” others but to regard one another as fellow servants of Jesus. The Church just doesn’t have any room for pecking orders!
Thought for the Day: Where do I stand in the cultural pecking order?