Spending your life climbing up the ladder

By Dave Henning / July 17, 2018

“The problem with spending your life climbing up the ladder is that you will go right past Jesus, for he’s coming down.”- John Ortberg

“Your attitude should be the same as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant.”- Philippians 2:5-7

John Ortberg concludes Chapter 3 of When the Game is Over as he talks about the second and third Cs of scorekeeping.

2.  Competing With.  While Pastor Ortberg believes that competition itself isn’t a bad thing, it becomes:

  • toxic when envy and jealousy result
  • dark when you’re tempted to cheat in order to come out ahead
  • a soul-poisoner when “winner” and “loser” become labels of worth and identity, and you lose respect for the battle itself

Finally, novelist Gore Vidal observes when competition goes over the edge: “It is not enough to succeed.  Others must fail.”

3.  Climbing Above.  As Pastor Ortberg notes, we live in Ladderville.  Furthermore, once you get on the ladder, it’s hard to get off.  In addition, looking at people higher up on the ladder gives rise to discontent. Since you face upwards when climbing a ladder, you generally ignore people lower on the ladder.  Or you might have second thoughts about your drive to keep climbing.

In conclusion, the author states, the most God-like thing a human being can do = serving in self-giving love.  As a result, John comments on this new version of the game:

“In the new game, people who try to make themselves servants — humbly, honestly, and joyfully — keep getting revealed as the biggest winners.  People who recognize and embrace their smallness keep getting bigger and bigger in God’s eyes.  It’s the oddest scoring system.”

Today’s question: What portion of your life have you spent climbing up the ladder? Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: “Mastering the inner game”

About the author

Dave Henning

Leave a comment:

Call Now Button