“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.” Phil 2:6-7
Most of the time, when challenged to think about biblical servanthood, my mind charges into a list of opportunities: what can I do? Who has God called me to serve? What are my gifts and who is most at need of comfort, encouragement, prayer—anything?
Of course, I can list a myriad of ways that I fall short—things I’m not doing. And, I’m grateful the Lord allows me to serve others in many ways. But, as I mulled over being a SERVANT sister, the Holy Spirit trickled thoughts into my mind, like tiny cleansing rain drops, offering me a fresh perspective on servanthood. I distinctly heard Him say, Who is serving you? Whose kindness and generosity are you benefiting from?
He led me to a verse that I’ve skimmed over many times, “The one who offers thanksgiving as his sacrifice glorifies me: to the one who orders his way rightly, I will show the salvation of God.” Psalm 50:23
Maybe there’s more to “ordering my way rightly” than simply doing as much as I can for other people—more to service than serving.
This last week, I went through my normal routine: cooking and cleaning in my home, volunteer work at the hospital, laundry, helping at church, praying for others. Occasionally, these things inspire me to pat myself on the back. Sometimes they even leave a little chip on my shoulder when I think I’m doing more than my share of serving.
But, what if biblical servanthood is equally expressed through a humility cultivated by knowing how well I am served? What if it includes gracefully acknowledging and receiving service?
I thought about who serves me:
My husband who works everyday to provide for our family
The kind lady on the phone who helped me work out a banking issue
The friend who texted back immediately when I cried of being lonely
The Starbucks guy who gave me my coffee for free after I waited in line
The man who came to fix my washing machine
The humorous cashier at the grocery store whose smile brightened my day
More than any of those and certainly more significant than any act of service I have ever performed, is the example Christ set in His service of me. Often, I forget to look at His sacrifice in that context. I fail to be grateful that He still serves me by continually cleansing me from my sin and always interceding for me before the Father.
Father, make me a servant like Jesus. Open my eyes to see and receive the goodness of others with gratitude and humility. And above all, thank you for Jesus’ willingness to be a servant and to save me.