Boy, oh boy! Claire was really up to some mischief in chapter one, wasn’t she? What did you think when she was trying to make herself the heroine of her novel? Were you shocked? Did you find it funny? Could you relate to how her friends felt? Could you relate to Claire?
I know I can certainly relate to our dear, overly ambitious Claire! There have been plenty of times when I’ve wanted to make myself look better than my peers. In fact, I’ve even tried to do that with my younger sister! (Bless her heart. She’s had to put up with a lot, heehee). One time, my mom told my sister she looked good in a certain outfit, and I immediately found myself striking various poses and batting my eyelashes before her, trying to wow her with my own natural beauty. Of course, I was kidding around (haha…really, I was) and my mom and good-natured sister laughed quite readily. But I do admit, I like to be the center of attention. There are many times when I want to one-up everyone and be the best. I want to be the hero.
Did you know that this idea of ‘one-upping’ our peers and trying to outdo them is actually a pretty big issue? And by big, I mean BIG. I didn’t really think about it so much until I read Isaiah 14:12-21, which describes the fall of Satan. Satan, or Lucifer, was once a beautiful angel in heaven and a spectacular musician. As we see in verses 13-14, Satan wanted to exalt his throne “above the stars of God” and wanted to be “like the Most High” (NKJV). David Guzik explains in his Enduring Word Bible commentary that Satan didn’t necessarily want to be higher than God…he wanted to be higher than his peers, the other angels, the “stars of God.” He wanted to be like God...the only One who is worthy to be exalted over all else. It was this spirit of pride that made God kick Lucifer out of heaven; and it is this spirit of pride that causes Satan to constantly try and keep people from becoming children of God. Guzik explains that Satan hated that humans were created in God’s image (Genesis 1:26) and that they would one day be lifted in honor and status above the angels (1 Corinthians 6:3; 1 John 3:2). Satan can’t stand the fact that humans were created to have a status above him; and so, he tries to prevent as many humans as he can from being adopted by God and finding their worth in Christ.
I now realize that the spirit of one-upping our peers is straight from the devil. It is completely the opposite from God’s heart, which is described in Philippians 2:5-8: “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. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (NIV)
I want desperately to have the heart of Jesus. I want to count others better than myself, as Philippians 2:3 says. I want to love big, serve humbly, and grow into the person Christ calls me to be.
My dear, sweet friend, let us strive not to ‘one-up,’ but, in everything, point up to One who is worthy of all praise!