Hi everyone! I kind of dropped out of blogging for a couple of weeks. I was trying to keep going through the school holidays but it wasn’t working… I love school holidays but they’re definitely a lot of work!
So I’m back again and Day 34 is a really interesting chapter (and hits close to home for me right now!)
Being a true servant of God requires a shift in the way we think:
- Servants think more about others than about themselves. This is true humility: not thinking less of ourselves but thinking of ourselves less. When we stop focusing on our own needs, we become aware of the needs around us. Unfortunately, a lot of our service is often self-serving. We serve to get others to like us, to be admired, or to achieve our own goals. That is manipulation, not ministry. Some people try to use service as a bargaining tool with God: “I’ll do this for you God, if you’ll do something for me.” Real servants don’t try to use God for their purposes. They let God use them for His purposes. We can measure our servant’s heart by how we respond when others treat us like servants. How do you react when you’re taken for granted, bossed around, or treated as an inferior? The Bible says, “If someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life.”
- Servants think like stewards, not owners. Servants remember that God owns it all. Servanthood and stewardship go together, since God expects us to be trustworthy in both. The Bible says, “The one thing required of such servants is that they be faithful to their master.” To become a real servant you are going to have to settle the issue of money in your life. Jesus said, “No servant can serve two masters… You cannot serve both God and Money.” He didn’t say,”You should not,” but “You cannot.”
- Servants think about their work, not what others are doing. They don’t compare, criticize, or compete with other servants or ministries. They’re too busy doing the work God has given them. Competition between God’s servants is illogical for many reasons: We’re all on the same team; our goal is to make God look good, not ourselves; we’ve been given different assignments; and we’re all uniquely shaped. Paul said, “We will not compare ourselves with each other as if one of us were better and another worse. We have far more interesting things to do with our lives. Each of us is an original.”
- Servants base their identity in Christ. Because they remember they are loved and accepted by grace, servants don’t have to prove their worth. They willingly accept jobs that insecure people would consider ‘beneath’ them. One of the most profound examples of serving from a secure self-image is Jesus’ washing the feet of His disciples. Washing feet was the equivalent of being a shoeshine boy, a job devoid of status. But Jesus knew who He was, so the task didn’t threaten His self-image. If you’re going to be a servant, you must settle your identity in Christ. Only secure people can serve. When you base your worth and identity on your relationship to Christ, you are freed from the expectations of others and that allows you to really serve them best.
- Servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation. They enjoy helping people, meeting needs, and doing ministry. They “serve the Lord with gladness.” Why do they serve with gladness? Because they love the Lord, they’re grateful for His grace, they know serving is the highest use of life and they know God has promised a reward. Jesus promised, “The Father will honor and reward anyone who serves me.” Paul said, “He will not forget how hard you have worked for Him and how you have shown your love to Him by caring for other Christians.”
What did you think of that? It brings some pretty uncomfortable truths doesn’t it. This week God has been talking to me about jealousy and comparing myself to others. I read about being in the refiner’s fire in my devotional this morning – and I could absolutely relate. It really hurts when God shines a light on your impurities but I love it that He’s doing it so He can get rid of them. I felt so encouraged and refreshed yesterday when I realised that the people who I really look up to are already fulfilling their purpose – I can’t do what they’re doing because they’re already filling that gap. This means there is a me-sized gap that only I can fill! It also means that there’s no point feeling jealous or resentful when others are promoted or see their dreams come true – there’s plenty to go around! I felt a rush of excitement at the wonder of what it would contain. Do you sometimes feel like that? I wonder what the future holds…
Which section meant the most to you? Was it something you definitely needed to read about right now? I love reading your comments and always try to reply to them.
Have a great day and I’ll see you again soon!
PLEASE NOTE: Quotations in this and other posts relating to The Purpose Driven Life (usually entitled Day:?) are sourced from The Purpose Driven Life book by Rick Warren unless otherwise stated. This is an independant study and is based on my opinion and experience only. Copies of The Purpose Driven Life book are available for purchase from all good christian books stores, including Koorong. The first seven chapters of the book can be downloaded FREE from Rick Warren’s official site here.