We who preach and write, do so in a manner different from which the Scriptures have been written. We write while we make progress. We learn something new every day. We speak as we still knock for understanding...If anyone criticizes me when I have said what is right, he does me an injustice. But I would be more angry with the one who praises me and takes what I have written for Gospel truth than I would be with the one who criticizes me unfairly. -Augustine

Becoming Great

Chrysostom once wrote, “If you want to make your child rich, teach him this: He is truly rich who does not desire great possessions . . . and thinks lightly of this life’s passing glories.”

This truth that was highlighted for me last week in a way I will never forget. Each month our Lamplighter Guild students have the opportunity to listen in on a conference call with a master teacher. This month, I interview celebrated European actor Peter Moreton. When I asked how a young person can become a great actor like himself, his reply took my breath away.

He said, “First, you need to give up all desires of becoming a great actor. You need to devote yourself to your craft–not to desires to become great. Then, when opportunities present themselves, your primary goal is to lift up the actors around you. Your job as an actor is to accentuate the character of others–they are to increase while you decrease. If I play a servant, for example, and I’m in the presence of a king, my role is to communicate to the audience the character of the king by my humble attitudes and actions. The king will be known through me.” (If you’d like to listen to the rest of this interview, you may do so here).

When I heard these words I thought of Philippians 2: “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant,being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him . . .”

If you’re looking for a new role to play–one that will make you eternally rich and presently rewarded–practice the art of serving those around you so that they might increase as you decrease. And, as it is in all good stories, you may be surprised when God unexpectedly changes your role from humble servant to royal knight of the King!

Published in: on December 2, 2011 at 4:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

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