“Through love, serve one another.” Galatians 5:13b
A friend of mine recently posted the following John Piper quote “When a man joyfully bears the primary responsibility for Christlike servant leadership, I have never met a wife who is sorry she married such a man.” I am that wife! And to be honest there are times when I feel quite unworthy of such a husband. In fact, there have been times when I have joked that if my husband’s love language is serving, then mine is to be served.
All joking aside, it brings us to the realization that for some people servant-heartedness is an innate part of who they are. For others, including myself, serving is something that has to be pursued because it doesn’t come as naturally. Chuck Swindoll in his book Improving Your Serve writes “Living an unselfish life is an art!”
Regardless of which camp you find yourself in, the truth is that in order to become Christ like in our walk of faith we need to constantly go back to those characteristics that Christ embodied. Servant-Heartedness is certainly one of those and we see it very clearly in Mark 10:45 as we read “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
When I asked my family to describe the characteristics of a servant-hearted person, there were two answers that really stood out: being willing to meet the needs of others before yourself and it has to cost you something! Take a moment to think about your own life. Are you willing to meet the needs of others before yourself? Are you willing to bear the cost of serving when there is no personal gain?
CALL TO ACTION
Galatians 5:13b reminds us that it is through love that we should be serving one another. This type of love is agape – the highest form of love or charity. How can we align ourselves better with the Christ-like quality of servant-heartedness?
- WILLING SPIRIT – Time for a heart check! What is keeping you from serving others? Chuck Swindoll points out that serving begins with a willing spirit, one that cries out to God “Lord, show me…teach me…help me…to serve and give.”
- FOCUS on WHO, not WHAT – Matthew 6:1 warns “Be careful not to perform your righteous acts before men to be seen by them, if you do you will have no reward from your Father in heaven.” The temptation can be to announce to the world “Look what I did!” Instead, focus on how the serving has affected those being served and let others praise or recognize you for your serving.
- BE THE DIFFERENCE – In the parable of the Good Samaritan, we see how just one man made a life saving difference by taking the time to serve. You never know how God will use YOU to be the difference in someone’s life! Don’t shy away from those opportunities!