Don’t be conformed to the patterns of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds so that you can figure out what God’s will is—what is good and pleasing and mature. Because of the grace that God gave me, I can say to each one of you: don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to think. Instead, be reasonable since God has measured out a portion of faith to each one of you.Romans 12:2-3
Today I have this simple and – I believe – profound post. The idea comes from a sign I saw on the wall at our friend Ann Stephenson’s home. It reads, simply, “Nobody act big. Nobody act small. Everybody act medium.”
Rebekah and I were visiting Ann for lunch; we were sharing stories, catching up, encouraging each other, and doing a lot of listening.
Ann – who has worked closely with Rebekah on Presbytery of New Hope ministry teams – lives on a farm out in Willow Springs. She has been a schoolteacher (English), has a bunch of grandchildren, and is an elder in the Presbyterian Church; so it’s no surprise she is drawn to words of wisdom, and wants to share them with those around her.
The foundational sentiment is not original, but I really appreciate the way it is expressed in this little sign.
We live in an age where so many people push themselves and their prejudices front and center, acting as “BIG” as they can, bullying and lying and manipulating and undermining while touting ideas and politics that are offensive and exclusionary and self-serving and false.
Meanwhile, too many good people – many of those who honor truth, respect others, and live in the light – make themselves small, hiding away and disengaging from making any contribution for the good.
This is happening in politics, in church communities, on social media, and in international relations.
But the call of the Good News of Jesus, and the writings of the New Testament, suggest something else. “Don’t think more highly or yourselves than you ought; instead, be reasonable.”
“Be transformed by the renewing of your minds!” And, God has “measured out a portion of faith” for each of us.
So what we need to do is to pay attention, to listen, to learn, to have the mind of Christ, and to deliberately and effectively “Act medium”, neither pushing ourselves forward nor burying our calling in an inaccessible place.
Thanks, Ann, for the lunch and the friendship and the sign – DEREK