If someone were to ask you: “Who do you know that has the heart of a servant?” Who would come to your mind? I’m sure that each one of us, know at least one individual that is always there, ready to help anyone that has a need. It doesn’t matter who it is, or what they need — they will do their best to assist. There is never any thought of what they will get in return, only the need of the individual is what matters. They are the kind of people that inspire us to do better.
Over the years, almost every church that I have had the privilege of being involved with, has had at least one, and most of the time more, servants as a part of their fellowship. They are not the kind of people that you would mention their name, because they would be embarrassed by the attention (and would likely scold me, if they saw it or heard about it). They come in all shapes, sizes, genders, and occupations; but one thing stands out about them, they have a big heart!
For about the last 10 years, I have teaching a small group Bible study that has a core group of about 5 couples — the group has fluctuated, adding one or two couples, and then losing a couple. The group is spread out over parts of 3 counties, and our meeting places vary (at the different homes of the members). We try to meet once a month during the school year, but there are times that schedules (and weather) have interfered. We had our first meeting this past Sunday, and the decision was made to study Paul’s letter of Philippians.
Beginning on Monday of this week, as my devotional reading, I have been reading Philippians (from a different translation each day); and, you might have noticed, my devotionals and “tweets” have been coming from what I have been reading. This is the second devotional from Philippians, and so far Paul’s letter has been tough on me! Tuesday (8-8-17) we talked about the practice of prayer, and the how of doing it and the need for consistency in our prayer life. This was drawn from the first chapter, as Paul talked concerning the how and what of his prayers for the church in Philippi. This morning, my mind was forced to think about what it meant to be a servant, and the people that I have been privileged to know that were servants; and to admit to myself, that there are some areas of serving where I am not what I need to be. Observe what Paul says:
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (Philippians 2:3-4, NLT)
The challenge we face is to really think like that! I don’t remember where I saw it, but in the last week, I scanned an article that affirmed that most “white southern evangelicals” believe that people in need are there because of their own lack of effort and initiative. If that is true, are “we” really living out the attitude that Paul says that we need to have. Are we hindered in our ability to serve, because we don’t have the “heart of a servant”? Do I regard myself as “better”, because I am the one being asked to serve? What does that say about my heart, and my relationship with the Lord?