On one occasion Jesus silenced the hypocritical questioning of the religious leaders of His day by addressing the issue of the "Most important commandment." (Matthew 22:34-40 NIV)
Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: "The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy loads and put them on men's shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them." (Matthew 23:1-4 NIV)
He would say the same to us today when we sidestep the rules, seek to have the inside track, and attempt to by-pass the laws that are written for all of mankind.
We see it in the world of politics when a public official over-estimates his value to the community he was elected to serve and chooses to disregard laws that his constituents are required to follow. These stories become the "Breaking New" stories in our local and national news outlets. When did being in positions of power empower us to ignore the laws we were elected to uphold?
We see it in those who have reached the level of celebrity when they are caught in the act of some sinful act, but instead of being criticized they are "celebrated" for their courage to push the envelope. When did being popular become the standard for behavior?
We see it in religion when people talk publicly proclaiming, "This is the way of the righteous!" yet they live the ways of the devil in their private lives — publicly they display their goodness while privately they take part in the deeds of darkness. In front of the crowds they talk of holiness and cleanness and walking in the light, but when they are alone, they justify their actions by saying, "No one will know. No one is hurt." When did religion become a license to sin? It has not!
Being in positions of power does not excuse us from having good ethics. Being a star does not exempt us from the law. Being religious does not exalt us above the requirements of holiness and godly character. Leadership and power and public position do allow us to serve. They do provide us the opportunity to demonstrate love and kindness and compassion and respect. Let's use these opportunities to honor God and bless people.
Today would be an excellent time to begin to live it.
When the ten heard about this [James and John's desire to be most important], they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:41-45 NIV)