And whosoever of you will be the chiefest, shall be servant of all. For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many. KJV
While thinking about the idea of serving, the Lord showed me some things about the difficulty within our society associated with being a servant.
There are three things that hinder our servanthood:
- class distinctions
We have lived for generations in this country on the notion of our independence. It is now engraved, if you will, in our DNA.
While we may think that independence is a great concept, it has cost us dearly in terms of our walk with God.
- Independence cut off access to the Garden of Eden.
- Independence put the children of Israel into Egypt and eventual slavery.
- Independence caused the 40 year campout in the wilderness for Israel.
- Independence caused each of us to wander for years without the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ.
- Independence is at the root of not experiencing all that the Lord has for us.
Independence is non-dependent. I depend on no one!
Well, that sounds great to the natural man, but to the wise it is a cause for grief.
Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. KJV
Independence is absolutely opposed to trusting in the Lord with all of one’s heart.
How does this affect our servanthood?
Independence is so ingrained in our thinking that we cannot imagine “lowering ourselves” to serve another. Oh, we are always ready to ‘help’ when we perceive a need or a weakness; but to just simply serve so as to make another’s life easier is not within our purview.
And that leads to the second reason serving is lacking in our society: class distinctions.
Servant is equated with slave, which is also deeply ingrained in our collective consciousness.
For the believer, however, we have the opportunity to be a bondslave–one who freely chooses to serve rather than be served.
But, being served strikes at my self-sufficiency. “I am capable.”
It is difficult for us to receive manifestations of another’s love when it comes in the form of service.
For instance, I told my wife to let me carry out the garbage. She said, “I’m not a weakling. I’m not handicapped.”
The concept of my wanting to lighten her load struck at her years of being self-sufficient.
Before I learned these things, I, too, had difficulty accepting another’s offer of service. “No, thanks,” I would say while thinking, ‘I can do it myself.’ The person did not offer because I was incapable. They offered because they wanted to be involved with me, to share in the love, to show me some love.
I had a problem receiving that love.
We can change that for ourselves, though.
- Repent and acknowledge the sin of independence.
- Ask the Lord to teach you total dependence.
- Look for ways to serve another in every social engagement: work, play, business, chores, etc.
- Say, “Why thank you. I would love for you to work with me on this” when someone offers help.
- Make July 4th your day to celebrate your freedom from being independent.
Let us learn to live in the fulness of the Lord’s blessings by becoming the greatest–a servant of all.