But among you it will be different.
Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant
and whoever wants to be first among you must become your slave.
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others
and to give his life as a ransom for many.
– Matthew 20:26-28
There is little mystery why the “lineman mentality” is part of my DNA. The little hand-written sign in my dad’s office flashed like a neon light when I walked in every day. It read, “Don’t worry about the credit, just get the job done.” You just have to love linemen. Coaches know that football games are won and lost in the trenches. To the average fan however, linemen are just over-sized guys that get in the way of the running backs and receivers. Why would anyone want to be a lineman? What motivates them? Merlin Olson, an NFL Hall of Famer, once said, “Football linemen are motivated by a more self-determined series of factors than the simple fear of humiliation in the public gaze, which is the emotion that galvanizes the backs and receivers.” From that statement you can tell that linemen are intelligent. They are also tenacious, relentless and stubborn. With little visible reward or public recognition, they serve their team.
A little of the “lineman mentality” would serve us well in our faith journey as well. Like Jesus’ disciples, we spend too much time and effort trying to be the greatest. How often are we like the running back or receiver who crosses the goal line, slams the ball to the turf and breaks into his personal version of a touchdown celebration? Look at me, look what I did for Jesus! Christ said things are different in His Kingdom—greatness is defined by service. The life of Jesus can be summed up in two words—serve and give. Jesus was a humble King. He was born in a lowly manger and died a horrible death on the cross for you and me. Too often we are focused on looking good and getting the credit rather than just getting the job done. Are we tenacious, relentless and stubborn when it comes to serving and sharing our love of Jesus Christ with others? Just get the job done and let God determine who gets the credit.
Jesus, this serving thing is hard! I struggle daily with the “me first” mentality. I confess my selfishness. Help me to see through your eyes the ways I can serve my team. Amen.