There seems to be a common problem among all people, whether believers or not. We have a tendency to elevate some people above other people. Society accepts this behavior, but believers should not. We have this issue addressed directly in James 2:1-4, “My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons. For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment; And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool: Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?” It is true that sometimes we treat people of wealth better than we treat those who have no riches. James goes on to say in James 2:6-7, “But ye have despised the poor. Do not rich men oppress you, and draw you before the judgment seats? Do not they blaspheme that worthy name by the which ye are called?” It is often the rich who despise us and persecute us, yet we tend to treat them with undeserved respect.

Psalm 20:7 says, “Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” Man has a tendency to put their faith in the devices of men. The chariot speaks of that which is strong, powerful, and man-made. The horse speaks of that which is fast and competitive. Sometimes, we find men and women that have strong personalities. Perhaps they possess the ability to address crowds and keep their attention with their speaking talent. Perhaps they have a wonderful working knowledge of the Word of God and can minister His Word effectively. We thank the Lord for such people, but we DO NOT put our trust in them. Man is so fallible and most will eventually fail at certain times in their lives. Our dependence should not be upon these people, no matter how profitable their gifts are. Our dependence should be wholly on the Lord, who gave us that servant to help us in our Christian growth.

Now let’s read Matthew 23:9. “And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven.” This shows us that we should not give nor take titles for ourselves. We learn in verses 6-7 that some “love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, And greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi.” Too many people love the attention they can get from others. They love to be looked up to and honored among men. They love to have titles that separate and elevate them from the others. Did you realize that the word ‘Reverend’ is only in the Bible one time? And it is speaking of the Lord! (Psalm 111:9) Yet men take this title for themselves. Let’s consider Matthew 23:8, “But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and ALL YE ARE BRETHREN. All believers should be content to be called brother or sister. This shows we all are in the same family and it draws attention to the One who is our common Father, even God Himself.

We should appreciate and be thankful for those who are able to teach us, those who are able to lead us, those who are able to draw us closer to Christ. These are people the Lord uses to benefit us. However, we don’t put our trust in these people. We do not elevate these people. Rather, we thank the Lord for these people, and for every member of the body of Christ. It is not just the prominent ones in the church that benefit us. 1 Corinthians 12:22 tells us that, “…those members of the body, which seem to be more feeble, ARE NECESSARY.” Every believer has a part to play in the church, in the body of Christ. All are needful and all are valuable. Yet, there is One who is over all and deserves ALL the praise and acknowledgement. Christ Himself. (230.4)