Government and politics is known to have so-called public servants who are, in fact, ‘lords’ looking for power, position, influence, acclaim, comfort and convenience. Unfortunately in the Church too there are leaders who while professing to seek God’s interests also protect and enhance their own – they thus end up proclaiming themselves instead of Christ.
Perhaps two major truths would preclude false servant hood or keep power seekers away from such roles of service:
“If anyone wishes to be first, he shall be the last of all and the servant of all.” (Mk 9:35b)
This was demonstrated when Jesus took the lowest place when he washed the feet of his disciples. Not knowing this truth would lead to insisting on our own ways and seeking adequate thanks and recognition. We will be envious and let acclaim go to our head.
“My child, when you come to serve the Lord, prepare yourself for trials.” (Sir 2:1).
Being unaware that there are trials we will face when we do Jesus’ work, according to Jesus’ way, we react differently to oppression and persecution. We become impetuous and impatient in times of adversity and humiliation, being defensive and lie low from our Christian responsibilities. We are unable to live the joy of suffering for the sake of Christ and thus blame god and even turn away from him.
With these two truths servant leadership is difficult and challenging. But is that not the path of Jesus?
With assurances such as these:
“Trust in the Lord ….and live secure (Ps 37:3)
“The Lord knows the days of the blameless; their heritage lasts forever. They will not be ashamed when times are bad” (Ps 37:18-19a)
and many more, we can serve out of love for the Lord who has loved us first and who has shown us the way to true servant hood. What more do we need?
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