Loving Servanthood

Over the past couple of days I’ve been thinking a lot about something: What does it mean to serve? Or more specifically, what does God say about how we should serve?

The typical image that comes to mind when someone says “servant” is a person of lower status—someone who is at the lower end of the organizational chart, someone who is expected to do more with less, someone who doesn’t have many opportunities for advancement (or even a day off), or maybe someone who is expected to be tuned into everyone else’s needs but seldom has his own needs met.

Is being a servant the same thing as being a doormat?

Consider Jesus:

He now showed them the full extent of His love…. Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under His power, and that He had come from God and was returning to God; so He got up from the meal, took off His outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around His waist. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash His disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around Him.

Jesus was the most important person in the room: Jesus KNEW that the Father had put all things under His power. He was also the most love-filled person in the room. What did He do with all of His love and power? He served others.

When He finished, John writes that He returned to His place, and asked His disciples a question, “Do you understand what I just did?” Then in the only instance of Scripture where Jesus Himself said this, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done.”

Servants are people who use the power they have to lovingly serve others.

Servants don’t serve because someone else forces them to serve. Servants serve because the love of God empowers them to serve.

Do you love your spouse enough to serve him/her? Do you love your family enough to serve them? Do you love your coworkers enough to serve them? The greater the love we have for others, the greater the empowerment to serve. Love empowers us for service.

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