Status is an elusive and deceptive acquisition. It keeps the inhabitants of this world running to and fro grasping for the lie that status projects. But, just as we think we have a grasp on status it slips through our fingers, truly just a projection of a lie masquerading as a truth. But the bright allure of status blinds the eyes of the seeker as he chases status through the streets of the city, dodging in and out of stores buying the latest cell phone, the most expensive car he can afford and stepping on his co-workers to make it to the top of the pile first. The brain constantly seeking ways to trade up. To and fro on city streets the feet chase status, the hands reach out to grasp it, and the hearts become buried under the stress of carrying the lie that the status money can buy makes me who I am.
Status whispers, status shouts, it seems to know my deepest needs and desires. Status tells me that my job and the things I have create who I am. The definition of status according to the dictionary: “A position of an individual in relation to another or others especially in relation to social or professional standing.” I have had various job status’s in my life. I’ll contrast two of my jobs and the two status’s attached to them. Currently I work as a pastors wife. Now, I can hear you say that is not a real job, which is partially true. But it certainly is a description used to describe what I do or who people see when they meet me. On the other hand many years ago I worked at McDonalds as a cashier, I also cleaned the bathrooms. While entirely different jobs and many years apart, I am essentially the same person as a pastor’s wife as I was cashiering at McDonalds and cleaning the bathrooms. My moral compass points approximately the same direction it always has, my likes and dislikes remain the same, my hobbies remain the same. I have more experience and going back in time would hopefully make a few wiser decisions given the knowledge I have now, but my status as a pastor’s wife or a fast food worker does not change who I am.
If my job doesn’t define who am I am then what does? I want to suggest that it is the condition of my heart that makes me who I am. There are honest janitors and dishonest politicians. Some pastor’s make the news for having an affair or stealing money, but there are plenty of others who remain faithful and honest.
I will use a few examples from the Bible to illustrate my point. David for example was anointed as the next king of Israel while still a shepherd, then he continued to work as a shepherd until God’s timing was right for him to take over being king. Daniels heart remained true to God when he was just a young man in a foreign kings court. Many years later as a political success his heart remained true to God despite the threat of being thrown into the lions den. Job served God while he was wealthy and comfortable, but he also continued to serve God after he lost everything. His wife suggested he curse God and die but his heart remained faithful to God. Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery, but his heart remained true to God, from slavery to prison, to a sky rocketing ascent as second in command of Egypt.
It’s not our worldly status that defines who we are, it is our dependence on God or lack of it that gives us our true status. If we think money and what it can buy will change who we are then we are headed down the wrong road. Only when we are anchored firmly to The Rock are we in the place God created for us. A safe harbor of peace for our souls. “Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matt. 6:33) When we have God, we have everything. When we have God, He provides everything else we need to do the work He created us to do for Him. The highest status we need to achieve is a heart that seeks God first. Just like David, Daniel, Job, and Joseph, they chose God first and God used His power to work for them. But when we choose the things of this world first, we work for those things.
We run to and fro chasing status and the trappings of success little realizing that while it appears that we have purchased our hearts desires we have instead sold ourselves into slavery. Status rules us with the desire for more. If one fast car is great then two must be even better. If the 48 inch tv was great than the 60 inch must be even better, and if we have one for the living room, we need one for the master bedroom also. We thought we could buy our status but instead sold our hearts and minds into slavery. Status is an elusive and deceptive acquisition. “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal; for where you treasure is there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)