“…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant… just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:25 & 28
Do you ever prioritize other people’s needs above your own? Throughout my adolescent years, my parents often instilled in me the value of selflessness. Admittedly, despite their zealous efforts, my immature rebellious nature compelled me to believe that my desires were first priority. Today’s culture resonates a similar me-first-you-second attitude. Secular media relentlessly reinforces this mindset by indoctrinating us with enticing “me first” messages — cultivating an epidemic of narcissism and entitlement.
A common misconception among today’s believers is that God exists to serve us and to fulfill our every desire. Actually, when we decide to follow Christ, we inherit His counter-cultural mantle of servanthood. Scriptural servanthood, as modeled and asserted by Jesus, means giving life away and prioritizing His will above our own will. In opposition to today’s “me first” environment, following Jesus means purposely and prayerfully forfeiting personal plans and purposes in order to prioritize other’s needs.
Today, even as a mature believer, I still struggle to overcome selfishness. The enemy can exploit my propensity to prioritize self. To overcome self’s seductive appeal, I intentionally choose to set aside some time to prioritize the needs of society’s marginalized. Serving allows me to be the tangible hands and feet of Jesus in His absence. Giving myself away helped me discover the other side of “me” — the side redeemed for His glory — the side chosen for His purposes — the side that chooses to serve despite personal comfort, convenience, and cost.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for saving me to serve. Create in me a servant’s heart. Help me to step outside the comfort and confines of my church and to reflect and serve You in my community. Amen.
Be still before the Lord. Ask Him to help you define and to practice scriptural servanthood. During this festive season, intentionally look for opportunities to serve those in your community.