“The student is not above the teacher, nor a servant above his master.  It is enough for students to be like their teachers, and servants like their masters.”  Matthew 10:24-25a

I teach public speaking. It’s a lot like teaching writing. When you give a speech, you put words in a particular order so they make sense. If you don’t, your logic gets all messed up, and listeners or readers get confused. “What does he mean?” they might ask.

The other day I was trying to explain this concept to my speaking students, and right there, in front of class, it dawned on me: When we try to make a point in a speech, we need master and servant sentences.  I put an example on the board:

Master sentence:  “You should play more and work less.”

Servant sentence 1: “Because too much work leads to depression and anxiety.”

Servant sentence 2: “A study found that people who work too much, who let their work control them rather than they control their work, experience depression and anxiety.”

The same applies in our relationship with God.  It goes something like this:

Master sentence:  “You should make God the overseer of your life.”

Servant sentence 1: “Because he made you.”

Servant sentence 2: “Because he loves you.”

Servant sentence 3: “Because he has your best interests at heart.”

In every corner of society we accept authority as important and necessary. We respect the roles of bosses, coaches, teachers, police officers, judges, and parents. So why is it that when it comes to God we often ignore, run from, challenge, or outright disobey the Person who cares deeply for our wellbeing?

God, you are so much more than a “master sentence.” You are “Master Author” of my story, our story. Help us respect, love, cherish, and serve you today. Amen.

Take Action

Make a list of three things you can do to show a servant heart toward God today. It will likely include how you may serve people around you.

Nazarene Publishing House offers a study guide on “Handling Authority” oriented for Bible study with youth, but its principles apply to all ages.

Tags: serve