I don’t think any city tests your patience with people more than New York. It’s overcrowded, noisy and people are in a state of perpetual rushing. Playing second fiddle is not a concept that resonates well in this relationally dysfunctional culture, and yet on Sunday, Pastor Josh highlighted the importance of doing just that — playing second fiddle in our relationships with each other and with God. 

Playing Second Fiddle // Emma Stevenson

We strive to define success and identity on our own terms, in our own ways, by our own methods; re-evaluating, redesigning and restructuring ourselves to take this city by its guts. This mentality puts the individual at the center, and has huge implications on our relationships. 

The message from Romans 12:10 is to love from the center of who you are; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil and hold on for dear life to what is good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing the second fiddle.

So how do we do our relationships well? How do we love people — not just pretending to love them, but really loving them? How do we play second fiddle in a world of striving first violinists?

Learning how to celebrate others and authentically love them is how we disciple. The church is built through relationships — Christ in you is the way He designed the Church to expand and grow — when you have relationships with others, you are being the body of Christ, an earthen vessel. When you discover who you are in Christ, you discover who you are with others, and there is huge freedom in this.  

When we pretend to be something, either because we think that is what a person will like or we think it will get us to where we need to be, we rob God of the joy in expressing Himself through our relationships. 

In a city where identity is based on individual importance, we assume that playing second fiddle is a lesser, weaker position. Yet, as Leonard Bernstein of the New York Philharmonic says, "Without the second violinists we have no harmony." In relationships, it doesn’t take much to create discord; pushing the tempo with comparisons and competition ruins the melody. As a church, we should lead the way supporting each other and creating harmonies, striving to outdo each other in love and affection, building relationships that complement each other to make a beautiful song.