Skip to main content

Sundown Devotional: Practice Playing Second Fiddle

MsDora, a former teacher and Christian counselor, presents practical Scriptural principles for joyful everyday living.

Practice playing second fiddle.

Practice playing second fiddle.

The Devotional

Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. (Romans 12: 9, 10 MSG.)

Practice playing second fiddle is Eugene Peterson’s paraphrase of “in honor preferring one another” (King James Version). Peterson compares Christian believers to an orchestra consisting of friends who focus on the spirit of harmony, rather than the attitude of “me first.”

When asked what instrument is the hardest to play, Leonard Bernstein, conductor of the New York Philharmonic (1958-1969), was reputed to answer, “Second fiddle. I can always get plenty of first violinists, but to find one who plays second violin with as much enthusiasm . . . now that’s the problem. And yet if no on plays second, we have no harmony.”

Both first and second fiddle roles are necessary and valuable, and the harmony is more important than the personal roles. So as church members, friends, or family members, do we focus on team harmony or on personal recognition?

The goal of our Christian performance is to represent Christ and promote His kingdom. It is by our love for each other, and by humble, selfless support to those who lead that we represent Him. It is through faithful service, not through position, that we earn the “Well done” from Life’s Master Conductor. And it is through support for others that we earn support from others, when it is our turn to lead.

When we focus on our duties, our satisfaction comes from our sense of fulfillment regardless of our position in the team. We learn to appreciate the skills and virtues we have, and admire others for their contribution. We are all valuable in God's scheme of things. We perform for His glory and we give the credit to Him.

If we will outdo each other, let's excel in the way we love, respect and support each other. We can remain happy first-class Christians while serving in secondary positions. It takes practice, practice, and more practice, until it becomes a habit.

Prayer: Master Conductor, we are grateful for the opportunity to play our various roles in life’s orchestra. Help us to love selflessly and enthusiastically no matter where You place us. We pray with thanksgiving for peace and harmony, in the name of Jesus. Amen

Second violinists are first-class musicians.

Second violinists are first-class musicians.

Ten Quotes on Second Fiddle Roles

  1. “Love . . . Isn’t always me first.” ―1 Corinthians 13:5 MSG
  2. “Second violinists are first-class musicians.” ―Glenn Dicterow
  3. "Playing second fiddle may connote being second best, but the preparation for playing first or second violin is exactly the same.” ―Dan Nobuhiko Smiley
  4. "It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit." ―Harry Truman
  5. “The greatest joys in life are found not only in what we do and feel, but also in our quiet hopes and labors for others.” ―Bryant McGill
  6. “Encourage, lift and strengthen one another. For the positive energy spread to one will be felt by us all.” ― Deborah Day
  7. “Talking about nature and mankind, always remember that we have to be there for each other as we exist because of each other!” ―Sanchita Pandey
  8. "I don't mind being a second fiddle. I don't mind that. I don't care whatever happens, whatever helps my team get a championship is what I want to do. Whatever helps my team win is what I want to do."Kyle Lowry
  9. “You don't need followers, you need supporters. Followers wait for you to make it happen. Supporters, see to it that you make it happen.” ―Niedria Dionne Kenny
  10. “It is better to be supportive than be superior.” ―Lailah Gifty Akita
"The preparation for playing first or second violin is exactly the same.”

"The preparation for playing first or second violin is exactly the same.”

  • Sundown Devotional: Defeating Evil By Doing Good
    The Bible counsels us to pay back wrongdoers in several ways other than retaliation. Then they become attracted to the good which God empowers us to exhibit toward them. Often,that good conquers them.
  • Sundown Devotional: Safety in God's Embrace
    Every healthy heart longs for an embrace, none more meaningful than when the Lord holds us close. This poem aims to appreciate His love, complete with His embrace, in various episodes of our lives.
  • Sundown Devotional: Choose to Encourage Yourself
    Despair is no stranger to Christians. We sometimes lack the awareness to see God in the gloom. We may choose to give up, but we can also choose to get up from "under" to "above" the circumstances.

© 2012 Dora Weithers

Related Articles