Monday, April 8, 2013

The Purpose Driven Life - Day 34

Day 34 - Thinking Like A Servant

The heart of a servant is at the core of his or her purpose in living for the glory of God. For it is not what you do, but why you do it that matters most to Him. 

Today we learn the five attitudes in the mind-set of a true servant.  We learn that true humility is not thinking less of ourselves - but thinking of ourselves less. Simply, putting the needs of others ahead of our own. Even when it seems that we might be taken for granted. This is a hard pill to swallow -isn't it? We have been taught our whole lives not to allow this. I know for me, this is difficult. I have the heart of a servant - but I need to learn how to not take it personally if someone is taking me for granted. We are to look upon this as an opportunity to practice the servant life. For being a servant is to be selfless. If someone tries to take advantage of that - it is between them and God. It is not for us to challenge it. For when we do, it counteracts the heart of servanthood. It shifts our focus from serving to defending our service.

If we agree that everything belongs to God,, then we must also understand that servanthood and stewardship go together. We are in fact guardians of the Lord's property. Our homes, our cars, furnishings, money. And it is how we handle these responsibilities, which determines future blessings. If we are unable to handle the money we have - we will not be given future riches in the Kingdom of God. If we prove ourselves unworthy of be entrusted with God's gifts - we will surely not be extended further responsibilities. Proving ourselves to the Lord is a life-long commitment.  Jesus said: "No servant can serve two masters. You cannot serve both God and Money."  

We discussed yesterday about the importance of focusing on your own race. Servants do not concern themselves with what others are doing, what other ministries are doing. Or of who is not pulling their weight. It is not for a servant to judge the performance of another servant, it is for the Master to handle His servant. Nor is it for us to defend our self against criticism. If we truly are a servant of the Lord, than it is only pleasing the Lord that we need be concerned with. Nehemiah responded to critics with this simple response: "My work is too important to stop now ... and visit with you." We must also be mindful of why we are serving, not to get caught up in feeling noble because of what we are doing. "Look how wonderful I am because I am serving the poor." This is counterproductive to the nature of your work. 

A true servant of the Lord basis his or her identity in Christ alone. They do not worry about proving their worth to man, because they know they are loved and accepted by grace. They are confident in their worth and therefore are able to do tasks that less self-assured people would not be able to do.  A person who is secure in their identity is able to mop the floors, clean toilets, change bed pans, and know that they are serving the Lord by serving His family.  People who have to manufacture identity to make themselves feel better about themselves certainly would not be able to do such menial work for fear of being judged. What would other people think of me?  These people simply cannot look beyond themselves to see the truth. They are so wrapped up in the opinions of those who do not matter that they completely miss the boat on what is important. Why they are here. When you strip away the fancy clothes and the fancy cars, the big houses and 'imporant' jobs ... you will often find that these are the people with the lowest self-esteem. The lowest self-worth. A person who works in service has nothing to hide. They are happy because they are serving Christ, by living in a Christlike manner. They are not concerned with what society thinks. They know true freedom.

Real servants look upon service as an opportunity, not an obligation. They are eager to help others. They actually thrive on it. They are not concerned with anyone else. They are not concerned about whether their nails are done. The ability to help those in need is fuel for them. It brings pure joy to their heart for they are working their life's purpose for the glory of God. The know that they are loved by the Lord. And that is all that matters to them.

"The only really happy people are those who have learned dhow to serve." - Albert Schweitzer

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." - Philippians 2:5 (NIV)