Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Killing ourselves gently (2)

I have been struggling with how to express the idea of this post, so I am just going to go ahead and see what happens.
A major part of Jesus' ethos was humility and not 'lording it' over others. He consistently tells us to take the lower place and put others first. Amongst Christians, understandably, this has become the 'way to be and the way to do things'. However, Jesus doesn't actually completely do away with the idea of respecting our elders and giving honour to those who deserve it. But we have forgotten that part.
The problem comes in that if someone because of their ability is promoted to an area of greater responsibility there would under certain systems be an expectation of greater reward, respect and status. This is many ways compensates for the increased stress and pressure. BUT because we need to see everyone equal and we feel that striving for status is wrong we do not wish to reward these people for what they are doing. In fact, we may make them feel guilty for having achieved a position that can be seen as a status position. For this reason many people (who have all the right Christian principles in mind) resist taking any position of authority - in spite of the fact that he or she may well be the best person for the job. And so - those with less qualms and possibly less ability get planted in positions of responsibility.
I wonder if we don't need to regain a sense of giving people status and privilege where it is due. Now, how do we stop people pursuing position for the privilege it gives?


Herman Groenewald said...

Hi Jenny,

I think the problem is how people in position view and treat others. James has much to say on the subject.

Jam 2:5-6 Listen, my dear brothers and sisters! Didn't God choose poor people in the world to become rich in faith and to receive the kingdom that he promised to those who love him? Yet, you show no respect to poor people.

Jam 3:13 Do any of you have wisdom and insight? Show this by living the right way with the humility that comes from wisdom. But if you are bitterly jealous and filled with self-centered ambition, don't brag. Don't say that you are wise when it isn't true. That kind of wisdom doesn't come from above. It belongs to this world. It is self-centered and demonic. Wherever there is jealousy and rivalry, there is disorder and every kind of evil.

Thomas Scarborough said...

I consider that one needs to be "released" for greater responsibility. Which might mean, for example, the need for a car. No car, and (cumulatively) weeks of a year might be lost through the time it takes to get around. It might mean the need for a computer system and accoutrements. No computer system, and again, weeks of a year might be lost through slower working methods. The same goes for all kinds of things. However, a Christian should not be acquisitive. But what lies behind the post? I find it difficult to think of examples of what you say.

Jenny Hillebrand said...

Thanks Herman - yes of we could all just read those parts of the Bible it would help prevent the pursuit of power.
Thomas - I'll write a post - that's a good point.