Something I have been thinking about lately is how Christians are called to have a servant’s heart. Having a servant’s heart might come naturally to some. Others might have a hard time with it. In our world today, we are taught to look out for ourselves and live rather selfishly. And it is telling. When we look around us, we see a lot of hate in our world.
As Christians, we are called to be like Jesus. And when we read Scripture, we see how Jesus put others first. One story that always gets me is found in Matthew 14.
Jesus had just learned that John the Baptist had been beheaded. It says in verse 13, “When Jesus heard what had happened, he withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” Jesus wanted to be alone, possibly to pray and to grieve. That is likely what any of us would have done as well.
However, verse 13 goes on to say, “Hearing of this, the crowds followed him on foot from the towns.” This sentence always bugs me. I wonder why the people couldn’t give him some privacy on this one occasion.
But then in verse 14 it says, “When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them and healed their sick.” And then I am humbled all over again. Every time I read this, I seem to go through the same emotions. I see how Jesus had a servant’s heart in this story. He set aside His own feelings and sought to comfort those around Him.
This story reminds me that sometimes what we want isn’t always what God wants for us. As it says in Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
I have always appreciated the way some have translated the word Joy into an acronym:
This is a needed reminder to put Jesus first, then put other people next, and put yourself last. (This doesn’t mean that we don’t take care of ourselves. God didn’t intend for us to be doormats and allow other people to walk all over us. Sadly, there are people in this world who will gladly do that, if we allow them to.)
But we are called to serve God and serve others. This way of living is not intuitive to our human nature. Thankfully we have the greatest role model of all to follow – Jesus. Keeping God first place is key. He will guide us and help us and show us how to live with a servant’s heart.
This week, let us look for ways to live with a servant’s heart. It might be something simple, like making dinner for someone who is feeling low, helping a coworker with a project that has been stressful for them, or babysitting in order to give a weary parent a day off.
Honestly, for those of us who do not live alone, we have tons of opportunities every day to serve the members of our household. Cooking, cleaning, laundry. Any normal household chore can be done with love.
And truly I believe that when we live with a Servant’s Heart, we are honoring and worshipping the Lord. Colossians 3:17 says, “And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.” When we have a heart that wants to honor God, it can be seen in all that we do. We worship Him, not just with our words, but also with our actions.
Let us look for ways to help those around us and spread the love of Jesus. In the end, not only will we bring a smile to someone else’s face, but we will find ourselves smiling too. That is because when we are kind to other people, this fills our own hearts with joy as well. When we selflessly give, we receive back more than we anticipated.
“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you.” – 1 Samuel 12:24 NIV
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Mark 10:45 NIV
Thank you for reading!
© 2022 Bridget A. Thomas