The Way Up is Down - Pearls of Promise

The Way Up is Down

 up and down arrows“For all those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)

“And the winner of the Alpha Epsilon Rho National Scholarship is Lisa Burkhardt.” When I heard my name called, I felt simultaneous shock and pride. Actor, Gordon Jump, who had been a star on the television show, WKRP in Cincinnati, presented the honorary broadcasting society award at the National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas. I nervously made it up the center stairs to receive the honor, but forgot that potential winners were instructed to exit stage right, if their name was called, not down the center. In my euphoria, I headed back the way I came. With the spotlight no longer on, I missed one of the center steps and landed flat on my face in front of thousands of people. Needless to say, I went from proud to embarrassed in a split second.

It wasn’t the first or the last time I would be humbled.

After repeated plates of humble pie, I am finally learning we shouldn’t be too wrapped up in what we’ve accomplished in the past or what we’re doing now. While we are called to do good works and receive occasional accolades, that is not our identity. God calls us all to be servants.

A close friend of mine, who is a truth teller, reminds me often, “Don’t forget the way up is down.” The world’s and God’s economy are polar opposites.

In Matthew 20, Jesus explains the concept. The mother of Zebedee’s sons came to Jesus and asked a special favor. She wanted Jesus to grant that one of her sons would sit on Jesus’ right and the other on his left in his kingdom. Jesus told them this request was not for him to grant. Only his Father could do that, but it was an opportunity to teach a lesson on humility.

Jesus tells them, “Instead, whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave—just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:26-27)

Jesus could have spent his entire ministry bragging about his resume. After all, he is:

Son of God,

King of Kings,

Savior of the World,


Miracle Worker,




Instead, most of the time he let people figure out who he was and would confirm his identity if they guessed right. He gave up a choice seat at the top office, to come down and work with us interns so we might better understand God’s love for us. Jesus served and through his ultimate act of servitude, we will spend eternity getting to know him better.

I am thankful Jesus didn’t think he was too good for the job.

I recently attended a Christian business-networking meeting where the leadership asked for volunteers to serve weekly as greeters and registration table workers. They said those who serve are generally the first ones to land jobs. Already knowing the answer, the gentleman leading the meeting, asked, “I wonder why that is?”

Many of us made New Year’s resolutions for 2014. Is it too late for mine?

I want to be more of a servant. I don’t want to go into any situation where I feel compelled to spout off my resume, unless asked. I want to put others before myself. I want to be like Jesus. I want to finally learn

The way up is down.

Categories: Archived Devotions

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