A Mind for Others
Occasionally in the course of history, a single person has arisen without whose presence everything would be different. One such person was Winston Churchill, the former British prime minister, statesman, and defender of freedom. No student of history is able honestly to disavow that the history of the Second World War and its consequences would have been radically different if Churchill had not stepped forward. Though often the tide of history seems to flow inexorably on regardless of the actions of any one person, you will be able to think of those in your own nation and society who have diverted history’s course in a decisive way.
Back in the 5th century BC, Mordecai was one such individual. The events of his life were recorded in the chronicles of Media and Persia because if he had not arisen, things would have been markedly different.
Mordecai wasn’t a Persian. He was a Jew and lived as a Jew, honoring a different God (the only true God), living in a different way and keeping different traditions than the Persians. Yet even though he was so obviously different, he was honored by the Persians, not because he spoke out of both sides of his mouth or sought to curry favor with King Ahasuerus but because of his absolute integrity and moral consistency. Mordecai didn’t set out to be liked. He set out to do what was right—what God had given him to do.
When someone is given a position of significant influence, they often become unpopular because others are jealous. Mordecai’s lasting popularity with his fellow Jews was uncommon. It may have been in part because Mordecai cared about them. He did not become isolated from or disinterested in his people but instead used his position for the welfare of others, rather than the enrichment of himself, and to speak “peace to all his people.” As one commentator sums it up, “Mordecai’s lasting legacy is that he combined service to the king with service to his people, without compromising on either account. He serves both and speaks up for both, desiring for both their good and their peace.”
Learn from Mordecai. Aim to do what is right—what God has given you to do, in the place and the time He has assigned for you. Like Mordecai, let your legacy be one by which people recognize that because you have a mind for God, you also have a mind for others—doing all you can to bring them rest, welfare, peace, and prosperity. Your deeds may or may not make it into the history books of this world—but they will be recorded and celebrated in eternity.
How is God calling me to think differently?
How is God reordering my heart’s affections — what I love?
What is God calling me to do as I go about my day today?
The Greatness of Mordecai
1King Ahasuerus imposed tax on the land and on the coastlands of the sea. 2And all the acts of his power and might, and the full account of the high honor of Mordecai, to which the king advanced him, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the kings of Media and Persia? 3For Mordecai the Jew was second in rank to King Ahasuerus, and he was great among the Jews and popular with the multitude of his brothers, for he sought the welfare of his people and spoke peace to all his people.
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