Choose your backdrop wisely

March 1, 2020

Scripture Readings

One of the most important decisions in life is choosing wisely the “backdrop” of your life.


As parents, we used to take our kids to the photo studio at Sears. They would pose our little tykes on a counter and then ask us what “backdrop” screen we’d like behind them. These screens often contained pictures of the hope we had for their future. They were backdrops of a sports motif, ballet studio, musical theme or a library were some of the choices offered. The backdrop was to set the stage, as it were, for the ambitions we had for them.


In Mark 10, we see a frustrated Jesus, reminding his followers that the backdrop associated with being his disciple/follower was in direct contrast to the world’s – particularly when it came to ambition and grasping for power and position. “Not so with you,” were the words of rebuke Jesus used in setting his kingdom backdrop before the eyes of his followers.


The kingdom culture Jesus leads us into doesn’t find us climbing a ladder of success in seeking significance. Instead, it is one in which we humbly “bend the knee” in a posture of love and service to others. If you want to be great in my kingdom, says Jesus, you need to become the servant of all. He modelled this principle in getting down on his knees and washing the very feet of his disciples.


As followers of Jesus, there is no need to grasp for power and position. Both are found in our relationship with Jesus. In terms of position, we are called co-heirs with Jesus – literally, he becomes like a brother to us. In terms of power, he imparts all the authority of heaven and earth on us to live a life of faith. But this life only makes sense when it is lived in front of the kingdom backdrop Jesus continually calls us to choose, and the adventure of faith he invites us to follow.


  1. When people look at your lifestyle, what would they say is the backdrop you have chosen as the theme of your life?
  2. Is your “ladder of success” leaning against the wrong wall? If so, to what extent?

Tim Beadle

Follower of Jesus, disciple maker, church coach