Monday, May 10, 2010

What Do You Want to Be When You Grow Up?

Can you remember being asked what you wanted to be when you grow up? My son wanted to be a farmer so he could drive the big tractors and combines. I heard of one little boy who wanted to be a car mechanic or a garbage collector. When asked why he replied, "So's I can get dirty!"

Imagine asking Jesus what He would have us be when we grow up. We might be surprised at the answer. Jesus told His disciples what He wanted to see them become. You can read it in Mark 10:42-45. He told them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.  Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant.  And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all.  For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."

In effect Jesus said, "I want you to be different. I want you to be a servant." How many people would willingly choose “servant” as a career path today? When Jesus walked this earth, He was surrounded by thousands of people who were attracted to Him. Whenever He had the opportunity He would talk to people about what they should be when they grow up. Of course He was speaking to them about grow in maturity in the kingdom of God.

The way we serve God according to Jesus is a lot different than many religious people think. Jesus pointed this out over and over again in His Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew 5,6 & 7. Jesus turned the religious world of His day on its head. Over and over again He said,

·        Mt. 5:21-22 "You have heard...but I say to you..."

·        Mt. 5:27-28 "You have heard...but I say to you..."

·        Mt 5:33 -34 "You have heard...but I say to you..."

·        Mt 5:38 -39 "You have heard...but I say to you..."

·        Mt 5:43 -44 "You have heard...but I say to you..."

Talking about the prayers of the religious hypocrites and the pagans Jesus said, "Therefore, do not be like them," (Matt. 6:8).

In Matthew 5:1-12 Jesus gives us one of the greatest portraits of a servant ever recorded. These are the marks of true discipleship.  Here Jesus spells out eight character traits that identify true servanthood, a true disciple.  

Over the next few days we will spend time learning about each of these characteristics. Let’s see what we can learn about Jesus and about ourselves.

Let  me know what you think:

·        What did you want to grow up to be?

·        Have you ever considered that Jesus is more concerned with your character than your career?


  1. Heh...In some ways, I'm still waiting to grow up. It seems that the more I grow, them more I realize how much more I need to grow.

    You're right about our ambitions - we're taught to make a name for ourselves, to climb the corporate ladder. We're not taught to serve, and yet, in "From Good to Great," the leaders of great companies are always people who give credit to everyone else when things go well, and who take the blame on themselves when things are going poorly.

    This also makes me think of the fact that the temptation Satan used in the garden was that we could be like God. We are still tempted by that lie.

  2. Off topic... thanks for the tip! I added you to the line up. :)

  3. When I was 5, I wanted to be a stripper because I loved being naked, and strippers didn't wear clothes. True story. I'm glad Jesus is more concerned with my character than my career since my career is mainly sitting in a cubiffice complaining about the breakroom coffee. Great post!

  4. That's a good question about Jesus being more concerned with our character than our career. I've never though about that. I wanted to work with children when I grew up. I want my character within my career to glorify God.

  5. Chispone,
    A little "poor in spirit" never hurt anyone!

    thanks for the plug!

    WOW! I had a daughter that hated wearing clothes for a while too. She got over it.

    If we let Him, God will work His character in us through our career. The trick is focusing on the Lord, not on laudation for us.

    --Richard, Thanks all for reading and commenting

  6. Richard,

    That last line on character reminded me of one of my lecturers at Bible college saying the same. In the end, God is taking us on a road towards holiness, and our character is at the heart of the matter. So, whether we are mechanics or brain surgeons, what matters is our walk with God and becoming more like Him.

  7. William,
    Maybe Bible college does some good afterall huh? My careers have ranged from Air Force officer to tire changer, from Astronautical Engineer to school bus driver, from UPS package handler to pastor. Through it all, it's gotta be Jesus living in and through me so that I am being sanctified.

  8. I'd always wanted to be a servant ... I saw it under a different heading when I was younger, but once I was old enough to understand I knew that in reality it was service. Though I didn't know how that would workout in my non-christian growing up days.

    I've shared about this quite extensively on my blog as being one of God's Armour Bearers ... looking forward to the rest of the discussion.

  9. Growing "older" is mandatory.

    Growing "up" is optional.

  10. Stuart,
    Sounds like you are the exception. Most of us find it contrary to our (fallen, sinful) nature to be servants. It is in our redeemed nature to serve, because it is what our Savior is all about.

  11. A. Amos,
    You are right. Growing up is a choice. Jesus commended "child-likeness" but not "childishness". I think there is a difference. We should not grow out of our child-like faith and wonder and humility. We should grow out of our childish immaturity and selfishness.


Thank you for commenting. I appreciate your thoughts and opinions on this post.