Caiaphas the high priest unknowingly spoke prophetically about Jesus when he said it would be better for one man to die than for the whole nation to perish (Jn. 11:50-52). This reminds me of an all-but-forgotten truth: When on the cross Jesus took the penalty we deserved, He put the welfare of others ahead of His own.
Oh, that we would follow His example in our churches, and realize that the church is bigger than any individual, its ministry far more important than our personal rights and desires! If we would only ask, “How would my action affect the church and the program of Christ?” Instead, we insist on our rights and hold to our position, even though it splits the church, ruins our testimony, and stops progress.
One summer I was picking beans near one of my beehives. Some of the bees spotted me and supposed me to be the enemy. In their attack, two bees stung me and died in the defense of the hive. They had only one goal—the safety of the others in the hive, so they gave their lives for the good of the many.
Instead of being angry, I admired those bees and prayed that we would be like that, not seeking our own comfort and safety, but living for the good of the body of Christ!
Love yourself last, and you will grow in spirit
To see, to hear, to know, and understand;
The blessing of the Lord, you will receive it,
And all God's joys will be at your command. —Anon.
We are most useful to God when we are most useful to others.