A Servant’s Heart
Sometimes I take for granted the things people do for me and my family. In John 13:15 Jesus told us that He gave us an example in life to follow and commanded us to serve others just like He served us. I think this can be confusing to some people. This can be interpreted as we should behave like Christ; which, is true. But, it also means we should serve others, not just at church or at an outreach event. It means in all areas of life.
Do you have a servant heart all the time or a servant heart just because you signed up to attend the next local mission event? It isn’t just serving people at your local church, but to serve others in ALL capacities in our life. When was the last time you had a waiter or waitress give you excellent service and you took it for granted? When was the last time a friend did something for you? When was the last time you watched a friend, or family member’s children just because? When was the last time you served someone or have been served by someone during the week? I’m guilty of not recognizing when people are serving me away from the church. Just because it is someone’s job or profession doesn’t mean they aren’t serving you with the heart of Christ. It also doesn’t give us the right to not serve others because we are in our own profession or job during the day.
Everything we do, we should humble ourselves and look to honor God by being obedient to this command. I’m not just talking about having manners. I’m not talking about serving others while in your everyday routine because you have it on your “to-do” list or because you feel badly about not going to church last weekend. I’m talking about walking in the attitude of Jesus everyday regardless of being at church or not. Colossians 3:23 states, “Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.”
Yes, knowing that even my work life shouldn’t be separated from the commands God gives us can seem like a lot. However, it might seem like a lot because our mindset, from an early age, is about serving others only when it benefits us or only when it works to our advantage. Ouch! Surely I don’t do this, right? Wrong! I’m guilty too! We all are. Sometimes I find myself “putting-on” my Christian face and realizing how I have fallen short afterwards. It can seem exhausting serving people all of the time, every single day, but is it really? Maybe our view of serving is skewed a bit because it can be uncharted territory for us.
Paul writes about using our freedom in Christ to serve others through love. Jesus explained we must humble ourselves and be a servant of all. Peter writes we should use our gifts to serve others and be good stewards of God’s grace. Me, a steward of God’s grace? YES! We might be the only Bible some people ever read. My mindset needs to match the heart God filled with the Spirit the moment I accepted Him. I didn’t accept Him in order to get something in return. It just so happens that He did give me something in return! Serving others in all that I do is a good reminder of that free gift He gave me. The gift of GRACE! The gift of the HOLY SPIRIT! The promise of BEING FORGIVEN despite me not having a servant’s heart.
Yes, serving constantly can be time consuming and seem like a lot sometimes. But it's a way of life, and something we must continuously strive to improve. Serving shouldn’t be merely something that we add into our old life. True service should flow from a heart and mind that has been changed by Christ; which allows us to experience a closeness with Jesus in our new life. So let me ask you, are you aware of others service or are you too busy to notice? Too busy thinking about yourself and how this world is effecting you? Are you missing opportunities to have a servant heart because it isn’t convenient? We reap what we sow and serving should be thought of as an investment to glorify Him, not a “to-do” list that we have to do. I hope from now on a servant heart will be more “want-to” than “have-to.” After all, the Golden Rule is right out of the Bible, “Do to others as you would have them do to you (Luke 6:31).”
Posted on Thu, March 10, 2016
by John Phipps