Serious Christians have to struggle continually against the temptation to view “merit” uncritically. To begin with, any gifts that you have are just that — gifts. Your ability to score 800 on the math section of the SAT is something for which you can personally take no credit whatever. It’s like a pretty face or perfect pitch: it’s very nice to have, but it’s God’s sovereign choice, not your sublime inner nature, that is responsible for this. And of course, he doesn’t give his gifts without a purpose.
And guess what: the reason God made you smart wasn’t to make you rich and to make you special and to allow you to swank around in the White House or at Davos. He made you smart so that you could serve — and the people he wants you to serve are exactly all those people you feel so arrogantly superior to.
From Via Meadia, Walter Russell Mead’s blog. Read the whole thing. Fascinating analysis. Mead argues that diminishing Christian commitment in the United States is doing great damage to our national life. But he argues not as a shouting “the sky is falling” right-wing evangelical. He argues as a self-aware member of the meritocracy he is critiquing. Very enlightening perspective.