Upward mobility seems to be the hope and desire for many today, not least among middle-class Asians living in the West. There are many Christians who seek the same thing. But I have wondered whether this aspiration should be questioned. Recently I came across something written by a Chinese living in the UK (Rev Henry Lu), who suggests that downward mobility is not a bad thing at all!
Increasing social mobility is something most of us aspire to achieve in life. We set our goals to move up the social class ladder by attaining a higher level of education, moving into a more prestigious profession, and by accumulating more wealth. After we achieve our own success, we want to ensure our children will be better off than we are. In a society where pursuing upward mobility is the norm, it is very easy for Christians to also accept it as common sense and as a necessity without any exceptions. We steer away from moving downward to a lower social class.
By contrast, the path that our Lord Jesus took when he came into our world was one of descending and identifying with those at the lowest level of society. Our Lord gave up his divine privileges to not only become a human being but to also take the humble position of a slave; He even walked this downward path of obedience all the way to death on the cross (Philippians 2:6-8).
As followers of Christ, we are also called to go into the world to reach out to our fellow human beings, who are down and out, with compassion and the love of God. While we need to pursue excellence in everything we do so as to not waste the gifts and talents God has entrusted us with, we also need to ask God to give us courage to act obediently when God points us in the direction of downward movement on the social class ladder. It is time we consider living our life in a conscious way of downward mobility for Jesus.
Source: The article can be found by clicking here. (Accessed on 5th January 2016.)