Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to save others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:43b-45 (NLT)
The other disciples were furious. How dare James and John have the audacity to ask Jesus to let them be seated at his right hand and his left hand. Exactly who did they think they were? Did they think they were better than the rest of them?
Of course, though they didn't say it, there is little doubt that the other disciples were secretly thinking, "That's where I belong!" We do that you know. We might not say it but no one genuinely likes to have someone honored over them. In our heart of hearts, I believe that even the shyest of us craves to be "noticed" in some way. We need to feel like we are important, that we matter to other people but if we are not careful, this need can develop into narcissism.
While the Christian who struggles with narcissism may be telling himself that their rightful spot is sitting next to the king, in reality what they really believe is that they should be the king. Narcissism has no place in the heart of a child of God and we must diligently guard against it lest it take root there. Countless servants of God have been brought down pride which is the root of narcissism and those in position of leadership are particularly prone to it. While for some, narcissism may have actually been the motivation for "building a ministry", others started out with a desire to serve which was then polluted by pride. Rather than give honor to the Lord of the Harvest, they began to believe that they, rather than God, were the Lord of the Harvest!
Scripture quotations taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.