Reverse Resume (John 13:14-15)

I have the privilege to be on the admissions committee for a dermatology residency program for which I am the director of dermatopathology. Every year, I review dozens of resumes and curriculum vitae from extremely well-qualified candidates. The list of accomplishments of these individuals would do any residency program proud. My task is to look beyond these achievements and distill something that tells me about their character. Recently, one woman stood out in my mind.

Like all of the candidates, she was at the top of her class and had accomplished more in her life than some people accomplish in their entire career. She was affable and had a nature that evoked a smile from all who met her. As I reviewed her letters of recommendation, several physicians pointed out her unselfish nature. The prior year, she and another classmate did not match for a dermatology residency program. Both were equally well-qualified. There was one open position at a prestigious dermatology program and both were scheduled to interview. However, the other candidate complicated the issue by doing a couples match. If desired, any residency applicant can link their application with their partner. For a highly competitive program such as dermatology, it would be easier if the partner were attempting to match in a less competitive program. However, this candidate’s partner was attempting to match in a very elite and competitive surgical subspecialty. The dermatology program that had the opening was in a city that also had openings for the partner’s candidate as well. The dean of the medical school called both of the candidates in and explained the situation. Without hesitation, my dermatology applicant said she would step aside to allow her classmate to take the position so that she could be in the same city as her partner.

This was one of the most unselfish actions I have ever witnessed in the residency application process. This woman was willing to place her dreams of becoming a dermatologist on hold, sacrificing it for the sake of her classmate. I praised her actions but she was embarrassed by the adulation. “It was more important for my classmate to be with her partner. Everything happens for a purpose. If it is meant to be for me to be a dermatologist, it will happen one day.”

...If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.
John 13:14-15 (ESV)

The world tells us that we need to go to the best schools, get the best job, and live in the best neighborhoods to be considered great. But Jesus showed us that it is not the accumulation of titles, diplomas, or wealth. It is a reverse resume. It is the shedding of this world and its trappings and humbling oneself before God. Only then, will He exalt you.

If one were being considered for a position in the court of a king, a packed and glowing resume would seemingly be the minimum entry requirements. But in the kingdom of Jesus, it requires a humble spirit and a willingness to serve and not be acknowledged by anyone, other than God. This woman’s humility stood out. That year, she did match in a dermatology residency program and eventually met her husband in the same city. Her story still inspires me.

A reverse resume is never written in words. It is written on the heart and spoken with unselfish actions. My Lord, Jesus Christ, gave up everything so that I could gain everything.

All praise to the Living God!

Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.