If you’re not first, you’re last. – Ricky Bobby
Who would have thought Will Ferrell could offer such poignant insight into our current culture? In the movie Talladega Nights Ricky Bobby, Will Ferrell’s character, is obsessed with winning his races. So much so he routinely wrecks his car in the pursuit of first place. Now, in the real world such a racer would be fired immediately for his reckless behavior, but in the context of this movie, he is adored by the fans.
Ravi Zacharias coined this phrase from Fyodor Dostoevsky’s writing, “At first art would imitate life, then life would imitate art, and finally, that life would draw the very reason for its existence from arts.”
The world we live in idealizes winners and those who win are the people with the most stuff, the best stuff, and the biggest stuff. Winners have the corner offices, the most friends, and receive the highest accolades.
In the world we live in, those things matter. But to Christians, those things are to mean nothing.
So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 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 be the slave of everyone else. 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. – Mark 10:42-45
It’s not about winning or climbing the corporate ladder or impressing our friends. God calls His follower to do so much more, to be so much more!
- Love God. Love your neighbors. (see Mark 12:30-31)
- God has given you great and wonderful gifts, use them! (see 1 Peter 4:10)
- Hate evil and cling to good, be devoted to one another in love. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. (see Romans 12:9-13)
When we become preoccupied with what others think about what we’re doing, that becomes the reason for what we do. However, the only reason we should do anything is out of reverence for our God. Through Christ, He calls each of us to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better get busy doing (see Ephesians 2:10).
Are you striving to win, to gain as much as you can in this world? Or are you striving for something far greater?