September 13, 2013

Servant Leadership


Servant leadership. We’ve all heard that term before, right? This is the phrase most often ascribed to Christ’s style of leadership when He walked with us here on earth. Jesus led the people by meeting them where they stood: in poverty, in hunger, in sin, and in spiritual darkness. Our Savior met them there, in their muck and mire, but He did not leave them to shrivel and die there. Christ reached out to lost sinners and served them. He did for people what they could not do for themselves. By ministering to their physical needs first, He was able to break through to their inner need for salvation. It literally didn’t matter WHAT Christ did for people, it was all in HOW He did it. Jesus’ tender, compassionate heart burst forth with love for sinners. Everything He did, He did in love.
1 John 2:6 teaches, “Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did” (NIV). I have always found this verse to be an insurmountable challenge! How am I (insert “little, puny, dejected, sinful, warped, inferior, unable person” here) supposed to walk JUST AS Jesus walked? Of course, I knew this statement didn’t mean I had to walk the EXACT steps that Christ did: a.k.a. along the plains of Galilee and down the streets of Jerusalem. However, I do believe this verse challenges me to act in the same manner that Jesus did when it comes to interacting with others. Jesus was the ultimate servant. He served the physical needs of the people by feeding them, healing them, and even raising them from the dead. I ought likewise to be serving the needy people with which I come in contact. I may not have the powers to fully raise them out of their dire circumstances, but I can make sure that what I offer them in service is offered out of love. My motives have to be pure. My service has to be selfless. I cannot be seeking my own glory. If I “check myself before I wreck myself” (so to speak!) in my servanthood, I can indeed serve as Christ did.
So, when you find yourself in the midst of need all around you, ask yourself what you can do to help. More importantly, though, try to have the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5) and help with a heart that is truly seeking holiness in everything you do (1 Peter 1:15). May we be able to agree with Job and say, “My foot has held fast to His steps; I have kept His way and have not turned aside” (Job 23:11 ESV).

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