I’m now up to chapter 9 in Mark, reading prayerfully. What stands out for me today is at the very end:
“…. be at peace with one another.” Mark 9: 49
How often this is lacking in our lives, even our lives as Christians in the church together. We become offended; we’re angry with others; they disappoint us; and so on. It can be challenging to get along. We all have different priorities, different skills, different backgrounds. We tend to think our way of doing things is the right way. We want to be noticed and appreciated. Earlier in the chapter, the disciples had been arguing with one another about who was the greatest. Jesus called them together and read them the riot act. This was not the appropriate way to behave.
“If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35
So it’s clear. In order to live at peace with my brothers and sisters in Christ, I must put aside any feelings of entitlement. My part (everyone’s part) in the body is to serve, not to be a big shot. Not to get my way all the time. Not to boss others around. To do this, I must put others first. I must not dwell on my own feelings, but honor those around me. As Paul says in the book of Philippians:
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves ,not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.”
This isn’t easy, but it’s necessary. It’s the only way to live in peace.
For more study on the book of Mark see: