The devil said to Jesus, "If you are the Son of God, tell these stones to become bread."
Perform, Jesus, perform. He had fasted for 40 days. He was hungry, famished. And besides, what contribution had he made to the world, anyway? It was about time for him to step up to the plate, don't you think?
Our culture constantly says the same. What have you achieved? What do you do?
A friend of mine chose a pediatric residency instead of one in surgery. "I love kids," he told me. His father, a high powered physician, was livid. "Why pediatrics? There's no money there. Don't choose pediatrics."
Well, of course, I thought. Why in the world would anyone in his right mind want to spend his days taking care of society's most vulnerable?
Well dad, and high-powered, big-earning physician, back off.
I told my friend I am so proud of him. For crying out loud, he made it through medical school with high honors. Not only that, he has just been awarded a fellowship in pediatric oncology. He wants to help little children who contract cancer live better and longer. Now that's laudable.
How easily earthly success tempts us to find our worth and value outside of God's inexhaustible, free love for us in Jesus.