TEACHER:  Ken Hicks 

SCRIPTURES: Matthew 23:1-12

BOTTOM LINE:    Our Applause and Recognition comes from God, not man!  So Grab a Towel!

QUESTION:  How often do we struggle w/ a desire for recognition, applause, value and Identity from people, positions and things in culture?



Jesus often shared things w/ people that for sure … in the moment … did not make sense at all.  However, looking back, we can often see how it makes sense now!

The Pharisees & The Teachers of the Law were always looking to be at the Head of the Line!

  • If there was a place of honor at the head of a table, they expected to sit there.
  • If there aw a title they felt they’d earned, you better give them their proper respect.
  • If there was praise to be received, they wanted some of it.

The Pharisees & Teachers of the Law were Proud men!  They expected to be honored by position and power that came from being at the Head of the Line!

One of the things that stands out to me here … I don’t Want to Be a Proud Person!   I want to Listen to God!

I don’t want to Forget God … and I don’t want to end up being His enemy … I want to make room for Him in my life!

How Do We Avoid Becoming PROUD?

Our journey w/ God, and our desire to walk in accordance w/ God’s Word, is not something we do for a Show.  That’s what PROUD people do.

We absolutely should be incredibly serious about our Giving … and our Praying … and our Fasting.  However, we should almost be secretive about it.  It’s God’s friendship … and Presence … and Attention we desire … not the World’s!

Jesus says … if we want to get to the Head of the Line in His Kingdom, we need to go to the Back of the Line!

Matthew 20:16 … “… the last will be FIRST, and the FIRST will be LAST.”



if God wants us at The Head of the Line … He’ll put us there. It won’t matter where we’re standing, or how long we’ve been there … if we humble ourselves, God will exalt us as He sees fit.

Jesus warns us to avoid this sort of PRIDEFUL Hierarchy, and He even warns us against one of the ways that kind of PRIDE sneaks up on us too … Titles.

if we really want to be people of influence in GOD’S Church … if we want to be a great leader for the Kingdom … become a servant … and Servants don’t have Titles!   They have Towels!   [… and brooms … and mops …]

How can we tell if we’re fallen to this sin of Self-Importance? Are there some Symptoms or Warning Signs?

And I think for me, it’s that IRRITATION that comes when I have these moments when I just feel disrespected … like I’m not getting the attention … or credit … or my point of view doesn’t matter.

And I start to feel IRRITATED or IGNORED, because I DESERVE attention … and appreciation … or acknowledgement … and I’m not getting it!

We all have to struggle w/ this individually …

  • w/ our Spouse at times
  • w/ our Kids at times
  • @ Work
  • w/ the places we volunteer
  • w/ places we give our Money

But Servants don’t live for recognition of the World around them … they live for recognition of their Master!