For the past two years, I have worn a bracelet on my wrist. It’s a simple black band with three words on it that was given to me at a youth convention. The speaker talked about how important the three words were. It was a declaration. It was a reminder to those who see it that we can share an important message with three simple words. In today’s world, people are able to share how feel about every little thing via social media. Facebook doesn’t have a character limit, so someone can rant and express all their feelings. Even Twitter, who originally had a 140 character limit, has doubled their limit to 280 characters. All these places for people to speak their mind and explain why students across the country should leave politics to the politicians even those same people don’t care that their own politicians aren’t doing anything to protect those students. (Sorry for ranting there). But I believe that we are so used to just sharing whatever comes to our minds that it has harmed the words that we sometimes put a lot of thought into. Or words that should bring hope and healing because it’s looked at the same way post about how Trump is the worst president or Trump is the best president is looked at. It’s brushed aside or forgotten in the middle of the noise.
So as I am writing this, I am looking my wrist and seeing the three simple words. It’s a conviction for me. It’s a reminder. It’s my motto for life:
“I Am Second”
I am second. I have told myself and those around me that my life does not come first. It’s God above all and others before myself. I am not first. It’s not a matter of being down on myself either. The message is about humility. I am coming to God saying that my own interests and desires are second to His. It’s coming to people and saying their interest comes second to mine. During Jesus’ ministry, He asked what was the greatest commandment. And He replied that all the Law and Prophets were based off two commandments: Love God with all your heart, soul, and your mind. And then followed up with love your neighbor as yourself. God and others before yourself. He was telling us to become second to Him and those around us. It’s not an easy message. It’s a message that we sometimes twist to make it work for us. We can love God and be second to Him for majority of our life, but something bad happens and then put Him second. We can say that love our neighbors and that we are second to them because we have done homeless outreach with our church, but then the next opportunity comes and we don’t do anything, so we put neighbor becomes second. My bracelet is not just a catchy saying that sounds nice. Because we all have seen those bracelets. Growing up, the bracelet that was worn by millions had a another simple message, What Would Jesus Do, or WWJD. It was the idea that we took control of every decisions we made by comparing it to what Jesus would have done. And while many were impacted by bracelet and like many, like myself, are impacted by the I Am Second bracelets, it doesn’t mean a thing unless we mean the words that are written on our wrist or written in Scripture. God was clear to the Pharisee of His time that the greatest commandment from the Lord was to put yourself second. And I believe that’s the message for us today.
For more information on the organization I Am Second and to hear stories of lives being changed, go to www.iamsecond.com.
TIM HELLER | YOUTH PASTOR