Being a Servant
Posted: Wednesday, February 28
Verse of the day:
After they arrived at Capernaum and settled in a house, Jesus asked his disciples, “What were you discussing out on the road?” But they didn’t answer, because they had been arguing about which of them was the greatest. He sat down, called the twelve disciples over to him, and said, “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.” (Mark 9:33-35 NLT)
I like the idea of being a servant. I like even more the idea of being thought of as a servant…a guy who just wants to help out whenever possible. But the true test of servanthood is when I’m treated like a servant. Truth is, I’m usually treated really well. It’s seldom that I’m treated like a servant or asked to take a lesser seat so someone else can take a greater seat.
On our recent flight to Myanmar, which was 20 hours long in total, I lucked out and was assigned an exit row seat where I could stretch out my legs. Before take-off a father came and asked the other guys in my row if they’d be willing to switch seats with him so he could be near his wife and small child. This would mean sitting in a row with no extra leg room and each of these other guys firmly declined his request. Then he asked me. Deep down in my heart I knew this was my chance to show some servanthood but at the same time I would deeply miss the exit row! I told him I was willing to switch if it was fine with the flight attendant. As it turns out, he never came back (thank God)!
Being a servant is seldom convenient nor does it come without cost. Being a servant is time consuming and seems to take us away from more important tasks. I think this is part of my struggle…I ask myself ‘isn’t there something of more significance I should be doing?’
Jesus answers that question very clearly: “Whoever wants to be first must take last place and be the servant of everyone else.”
In other words, significance or greatness is determined by serving. Being a servant means choosing to meet others’ needs without demanding or expecting anything in return. Seeking to be honored, respected and the center of attention runs contrary to Jesus’ requirements for you and I.