I don’t know about you, but I have been guilty, at times, of “name-dropping” if it will gain me an advantage. I know the people I am with, and I know some people they admire. If I have had a relationship with those people, I will just casually (or not so casually) slip in the fact that I know that person. I always feel cheap after I have done that, but it seems I still do it.
I remember walking into a church auditorium one time, for a national pastors meeting. The leader of the meeting was standing in the front of the pulpit area, with a group of preachers lined up to speak with him. My wife and I slipped in a side door and were putting our things on the front pew. We were there to interpret for the deaf. The leader saw us come in, and promptly excused himself from the line to come and give us a hug. I had served with this man for ten years in a ministry together, and we had not seen each other for some time. I noticed with a bit of pleasure, that the line of men waiting to see him was wondering, “Who in the world is that couple?”
Gaining our importance from who we know is a way we often use to elevate ourselves in the eyes of others. Today I read the first verse of the book of James, and it says; “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ, to the twelve tribes which are scattered abroad, greeting” (James 1:1). That doesn’t sound that impressive, until you consider the position James could have claimed. It is largely believed that this James (there are four mentioned in the New Testament), was the half-brother of Jesus Christ. He is listed as the first son of Joseph and Mary, after the virgin birth of Christ.
James could have started this epistle by saying something like … “James, the half-brother, and second oldest child of Mary …” but he chose to identify himself as “a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ.” He had the opportunity to use the biggest name of all to drop on his readers. Instead, he chose to identify himself as a bond-slave of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. He let the people know that this letter would not be about him, but it would be about what God and the Lord Jesus Christ had taught him.
Today, I find that I look to promote myself far too much. I want to make it my goal today to promote the Lord Jesus Christ, and to remember that I am nothing more than His bond-slave. I believe God is searching for bond-slaves today, but we are too busy trying to impress those around us. I want to remain humble and follow the example of James today.