Sunday, February 5, 2012

Secret Servanthood

‎"Sitting down, He called the twelve and said to them, 'If anyone wants to be first, he shall be last of all and servant of all.'" - Mark 9:35 NASB 
       Though there is nothing wrong with competetiveness, it (along with almost everything) can ...become a bad thing when taken to extremes. Balance is the key. Today, we live in a dog-eat-dog, destructively competetive world. It has become not only acceptable, but expected for people to annihilate the competition in order to climb their way to the top. In such a society, how can we combat having destructively unbalanced levels of competetiveness? What does real servanthood look like?
       I find the best advice always comes from Jesus Himself. Listen to His heart when He washed the disciples' feet...when He healed so many, fed them, taught them the way of grace. Listen to His heartbeat as He laid aside His rights as God and made Himself low like man so that He could reach down on our level. Though He is higher than any other, He took the time and effort to meet us where we are. Though you are intelligent, hardworking, ambitious, and successful, (and that's ok) try taking the time and effort to meet others where they are and show them Jesus.

              May I propose taking up a kind of service project? I don't mean the kind that you get distinguished service awards and pat yourself on the back for, though. That will only make the problem worse. We can sometimes even become competetive at being selfless...which tends to defeat the purpose. When I was in high school, a group from my church home would do what we called "Random Acts of Kindness." Today, I challenge you to do the same. Actively look for ways in which you can be selfless and minister to other people without any gains for yourself and keep it a secret between yourself and God (and the other person, but only if you must let them know it was you. It is better to leave an anonymous note if you can.)  Put quarters in the dryer for someone at the laundromat. Find someone at church who has a need you can meet and spend a day helping them. Rake an elderly lady's yard for free. Slip a $20 and a note to a friend in need when they aren't looking.

       This world is so full of hurting people and there are countless opportunities for servanthood. Sometimes, in the rush and busyness of everyday life, it is hard to make time to help others with their needs. Especially in this time of economic hardship, we may not have the financial means to help in practical ways and wonder how we could possibly help others when we are having so much difficulty taking care of ourselves. The challenge is in finding needs that you can meet. Even if you don't have the physical capability to fix someone's plumbing or the money to bring a sick person a meal, sometimes just a phone call can help. It tells that person that you care and that you are taking time from your busy schedule to check on them. It says to them that someone is listening - that someone sees. Then, if that person does have a need, you may be able to arrange for someone to help them even if you can't. Even a card can help. Take the time and energy to be Jesus' hands and feet today. I guarantee that you won't regret it, because if there is one thing that I have learned in life, it is that you can not outgive or outlove God.

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