“The greatest test of being a servant is how we respond when we are treated like one….” This has been a challenging statement to us recently as our family has been studying one of the commands that Jesus gave when He was here on earth. The command is for us to be a servant of all. “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.” (Matthew 20:26-27)
We all have the nature within us to want to achieve greatness or, at the very least, we desire to DO something great. Majority of the time, our desire is stemmed out of pride and in wanting to benefit or promote ourselves. This is a wrong concept and we will come across as being proud and arrogant and we will diminish the great work that God has for each of us. Our desire should be to serve those that God has put in our lives because we want them to aspire and achieve greatness. Greatness isn’t measured by how many people are serving us but, rather, on how many people we are able to serve.
As parents, we should desire for ourselves and for our children to have the hearts of a true servant. What does a servant’s heart look like? I believe it means that we will look for ways to be available to serve. Availability is also simplifying our needs so that we have the time to serve those whom God brings our way. When I have something that I am diligently working on and someone has a need, am I quick to think about their needs or do I find it frustrating when I am being interrupted? I find it challenging to respond in a Christlike way when this happens but if I am exemplifying a servant’s heart, I will joyfully respond to meet the need. A true servant disregards his own interests to benefit the one that he is serving.
This evening as I was giving our little girls their baths, I was reminded that as I am taking care of their physical needs, I am also doing one of the loftiest tasks that I could do for the Lord. A servant’s heart will joyfully serve someone when it is impossible for them to give in return. My role as a parent is just as great and important as the experience that I had last week in leading an inmate to the Lord. Moms, as you are changing diapers, wiping runny noses and taking care of your little one who is sick, you have the opportunity to serve Jesus in the comfort of your own home. Be patient and demonstrate love to these precious little ones like Jesus did when He walked here on this earth. Maybe there are times when you find yourself thinking about all the opportunities that you unable to do for God, because you are so busy with the responsibilities at home. Jesus sees our acts of service (when done with the right motives) and He says that we are the “greatest” of all. Let’s do the little things as though they were great because of Jesus who does them in and through us.
Dads, are you following Jesus’ example where He “made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant…”? Do your children see Jesus in you and are they drawn closer to Him because of your example of servanthood? Do you humble yourself enough to assist with things in your home when you think that others could or should be doing it?
As we are teaching our girls in this area of servanthood, we have discussed how their attitudes and actions should demonstrate flexibility and availability in serving the other members of our family. When they focus on their own desires and begin claiming their own rights, they will find it difficult to serve joyfully. When you see your children sighing or using facial expressions like rolling their eyes, it is a sign that you have some work that needs to be done in teaching true servanthood. We have told our girls that being available and serving is more than just giving our hands to a task but rather it is giving our hearts. We can appear to have a servant’s heart in our outward actions but can be upset and angry on the inside. When this happens, we lose a blessing and the Bible says that we are an unprofitable servant. A true servant is also willing to wait for the blessings of God’s honor rather than the gratification of man’s praise and affirmations.
Our family has much to learn in this area of servanthood but we are attempting to grow along with our children. We can be very busy in serving for God’s kingdom but if we lose the hearts of our children, we won’t be very profitable. The true measure of our worth as a servant is not in how busy we are but in how profitable we are. What steps are you taking in being a profitable servant for His kingdom?