The Cost of Servanthood

weekly theme #35*

week containing the Sunday between June 26 and July 2

A servant’s life revolves around the master.  The servant does not set aside an hour or few each week for work they want to do.  The life of the servant revolves around the master, and the servant’s life is secondary.  So no one can become my disciple without giving up everything for me.” (Luke 14:33)  Yet there is love in this relationship between my master and me, The Lord.

Repeatedly I’ve been overwhelmed with doing good deeds and in nurturing relationships.  The tasks he assigns are too great for me, but that’s because he wants me to work with others and also depend on him.  He doesn’t think of me as just a servant but as his family.  He cares deeply for me, and he wants me to care deeply for him, not just the tasks I perform on his behalf.  My focus on him is more pleasing than my independent effort to do his work, and my reward is his presence, not completing a checklist.

My troubles, complaints, and sufferings are magnified when I serve with wrong motivations.  If the desire to serve is generated from love, it will endure because it produces shalom and my Master shares my yoke.  Service from fear or guilt does not endure; it saps my strength.  This perishable container that I feed, groom, and worry about miraculously contains the Spirit of God.  Though I physically die a little each day, I can spiritually be renewed, improved, and strengthened.  I would do well to focus on what I’m gaining, not on what I’m losing.

Even spiritual leaders are servants.  I have been arrogant enough to believe I could lead other s through strategy, persona, or organization.  How foolish that seems now.  God loves me, but does not need me.  He can accomplish his will without me, but graciously he offers me the opportunity to join him in what he is doing.  I have no cause for pride yet pride seems to be constantly lurking near me.  Pride creeps in when I choose to compare my strengths to other’s weaknesses.  This guarantees that I’ll be puffed up and dismissive of my own weaknesses.  There is no redemption in lopsided comparisons.

*A Guide To Prayer by Job and Shawchuck provided the scripture references and readings that inspired these reflections.  I found this devotional to be the most heart changing of any I’ve used.  It truly lives up to its title.

1 Comment

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One response to “The Cost of Servanthood

  1. Brenda Weller

    David, this past week was a marvelous experience God gave me. I lived for 8 days in a smallish house with 13 people whom I did not know. They are all Christ followers. 7 were children from 15 to 7. We worked together and played together to serve others and to learn more about following our Lord as Americans in the land that chose to base itself on the principles that God gave humans.

    Though there was service to others involved in many of the days we were together, I found new awareness of service through the tiniest of things. Just listening to others and hearing them. I believe God gave me new eyes to see each as a special gift. It was amazing and I pray that I keep those eyes focused on His goals for them.

    Thanks for sharing your reflections on your readings. They are important for me to hear.

    In the joy of The Lord, B

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