Do you have the heart of a servant?
At this point, you might be asking why anyone would want to be a servant. We all want to be free, right? We often confuse the term servant with the term slave. When we hear the word servant; we connect it with a loss of freedom and being a slave to others. But a servant is simply someone who serves others.
Galatians 5:13 – For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only (use) not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.
We become servants to our children because we love them. We care for them and nurture them because of the love we have for them in our hearts. Having the heart of a servant means that you willingly serve others, nuture and care for their needs; because of the love that is in your heart for them.
There are many reasons why we should have the heart of a servant. We should need no other reason than the first one listed; but since there are other reasons, I will state some of them.
The Lord requires us to have a servant’s heart
Philippians 2:3-5 – (Let) nothing (be done) through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves.
If the motive behind our service to others is to receive honor or praise for ourselves; we are not serving with the attitude the Lord desires. Instead we are serving to receive whatever is in it for us. The world would teach us to serve self first; but not the Bible. Even Jesus himself came to serve and to give his life as payment for our sins. He humbled himself to a servant position and called himself the Son of Man when he could have called himself the Son of God.
Mark 10:45 – For even the Son of Man did not come to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.
Jesus set the example for us to follow in John 13
At the Last Supper, Jesus surprised the disciples; by taking the place of a servant to wash the dust and dirt from the road off of their feet. He was setting an example for his disciples. To be good leaders and teachers, they must first be servants to each other. He was putting forth an example of humility that he expected his disciples to emulate.
I find what Jesus says in verse 17 interesting. If we never learn to serve others out of love, then we will learn to be self serving and to be a taker. I’ve found that people who are takers are not usually happy. They can never take enough; and no one can ever give enough, to satisfy a self seeking person.
12. So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you?
13. Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for (so) I am.
14. If I then, (your) Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.
15. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.
16. Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him.
17. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
Serving others is serving the Lord
Our Lord tells us in Hebrews 13:2 that while we are serving others; we may be entertaining angels without knowing it. He also say that when we do good to others; it is as though we are doing the good to Him.
Hebrews 13:2 – Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Ephesians 6:7 – With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men:
Esteeming others above ourselves teaches humility
Serving others means esteeming them above ourselves. It means being humble and submitting to one another as unto the Lord. It sometimes means putting our needs on hold for the good of another. God resisteth (is against) the proud; but He gives grace to the humble. Remember pride is the sin that brought satan down.
1 Peter 5:5 – Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all (of you) be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.
Serving others makes us better leaders
The world strives to teach us to be self sufficient, self motivated, and self confident. These are not necessarily bad traits; but sometimes they lead to being self absorbed, self seeking and unconcerned about others and their needs. In contrast, Christ teaches us to die to self and serve others in love.
Mark 10:43-45 – But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister:
2 Corinthians 4:5 – For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves (are) your servants for Jesus’ sake.
The Lord defines greatness by our service
The world we live in doesn’t glory in servants. We tend to esteem people in power or people with money. In contrast, Christ says that whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. When people reach a certain “position” in life; they wouldn’t think of doing menial tasks that a servant would do. They think they are above others, and need not do what people with less status do. They believe that they are here to be served by others; not to serve others. But Jesus said that the greatest among you will be your servant.
11. The greatest among you will be your servant.
12. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
To show our love for one another
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 – Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity (love), I am become (as) sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.
Love is a verb. It means little without action. The action that love should spur is service. Love causes us to want to fill the need of another, and put their needs above our own. Love is not self seeking; but concerned with the needs of others.
Our Lord set aside his deity and came to earth to live as a man; as an example of the self sacrificial love he wants us to have for one another. He humbled himself to come to earth with the purpose of living as a man (yet without sin), suffering and dying as a sacrificial lamb for those who will confess their sins, believe in Him, and serve God and mankind. This free gift of salvation was bought with Christ’s blood. He willingly became the sacrifice to end all sacrifices. That is the picture of sacrificial love and service.
Not serving is to deny the faith
1 Timothy 5:8 – But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
It takes love to be a true servant. Jesus put great emphasis on love throughout the Bible. He has told us to love one another as he has loved us. If we truly love someone, we will serve them regardless of what we receive in return. So many times people love and serve others, with a hope to get something in return. Our reward is in Heaven. If we serve out of the love Jesus placed in our hearts; we won’t expect to get rewarded for our actions.
I hope this post has given my readers (and myself) a renewed interest in serving others as our Lord has taught us.
In what ways are you being a servant? Are you active in your church? Do you teach a Sunday school class or participate in worship? Do you help others when they need help? Do you take care of an elderly parent; or visit the elderly in nursing homes? Do you participate in a prison ministry? Do you share knowledge that you have accumulated to help others? Do you give financially to the ministry of your church or other charities? Are you using the talents that God has given you to be of service to others?
If you would like to leave a comment that is relevant to this post; please do so in the comment section below. Your thoughts, comments and questions are important to me and I will answer them all as soon as possible.
At your service,