CULTURE OF SECOND FIDDLE
When I was asked to write about the “Culture of Second Fiddle” and how I’ve learned not to self-promote, I laughed and thought to myself “Who? Me?” For most of my life, I honestly didn’t care much about other people more than I did my own reputation and self-gratification. Every aspect of my life, my routine, my relationships and even my church life were based on how I would benefit in the end. My prayers were filled simply with personal requests with no conversation or praise needed afterward. Living this way can teach you how to “play humble”, which can earn you recognition from others, yet leave you feeling so empty and alone.
I started attending C3 NYC in late 2017. In the beginning, I saw the church as something else I could use for my benefit. Free coffee and nice people, it was a steal. Then a guy named Roshard asked me to help serve on Crew Team. I figured I’d help out when I wanted, once or twice a month. In my heart I thought of all the recognition I would get. And how much work can packing a truck be, right?
I was wrong. It was hard work! At the end of packing that truck each week, we had worked so hard that our team was soaked in sweat. I felt tricked because I did not feel or look good doing crew work. But one thing I noticed, week after week, was Roshard’s joy while working crew: smiling while organizing the truck, even happy to help other teams if he were asked to. I was outright stunned when I learned that Roshard was packing the truck at a warehouse hours before the service began and unpacking it hours after service had ended. I wondered what he gains from doing these things, especially when no one sees him doing them? And why is he happy to do them?
Anyone who has ever complimented Roshard in any way has probably received a similar response, which I just happened to catch at our crew hang. He’ll point up to the sky and say “All God.” I see now that Roshard wasn’t doing it for his own benefit or for his reputation, but because he simply saw the need and he filled it, just like the God he serves does for us. Philippians 2 illustrates that perfectly:
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.”
Jesus is my inspiration. He laid down His Life, not for His own prestige, which He already had, but simply because I needed salvation. And now that I’ve been reunited with God, I can share in His joy by giving my time, energy and strength simply for others to be pointed to the freedom that’s found in Christ.
— ELI MORALES