Thomas a Kempis: “To have no opinion of ourselves, and to think always well and highly of others, is great wisdom and perfection.”
Just as the currency of our relationship with God is worship, the currency of our brotherly relationships is service and self-denial, or submission. We were made to worship our God and serve our brother. How often as men we seek status and the benefits of what we've worked so hard for. We deserve this and have earned that. We are hurt to the core if others do not recognize our greatness in some area. These things we see creating our identity suck away our capacity to “think always well and highly of others.” If my ambitions have taken me to wealth and status, and if this is where I find my identity, how am I free to think well and highly of those who do not have the same level of wealth and status? Will I not look down on or pity them? Christ calls each of us to lose his life in order to save it. He calls us to lose our self-identity in order to find it. This isn't a call to “not-succeed,” but a call to lay down all that we do find ourselves with to worship God and serve our brothers.
How often we try to use God’s principles for our gain, not emulate the “laying-downess” the Christ modeled! And, even as I read on my gut is saying, “I want power. I want leadership. I guess I need to serve and submit to get it!” This is also wrong! We shouldn't be taking Jesus’ example as a 12 step program to achieving power and greatness! We are called to serve and submit out of love and obedience, not to achieve for ourselves some sort of piety-generated leadership status. Only, let us serve others and the Lord in order to model and obey Christ. Jesus left perfect glory and status in order to save and serve, but we try to serve to attain the greatness. This is our fault.