LEADING THROUGH SERVING
Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if service, in our serving. Romans 12:6-7
I knew a period of time, four months in all, where Jesus washed my feet when I closed my eyes to pray. I saw Him stooped in front of me, sitting on a stool, washing my feet. He was in no hurry. Time stood still. He said nothing but just tenderly served me. The humility of His service and the power of His tenderness changed me profoundly. It has had ripple effects on my heart over the years; my willingness to forgive others being the biggest change.
The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve. Matt.20:28 The spiritual gift of serving is one that is so beautifully demonstrated through the acts of Jesus. He did it – even while silent.
Most leaders lead by making a lot of noise and standing out in front of others; beckoning them to follow. Serving as Jesus served doesn’t look like that. If I’m going to serve as Christ did, I don’t see myself at the top and others beneath me. I am their servant. I assess their needs and quietly minister to them.
William Booth, the founder of the Salvation Army, told his missionaries on the way to India: “Go to the Indians as a brother, which you are, and show the love which none can doubt you feel. Eat, drink, and dress and live by his side. Speak his language, share his sorrow.”
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “The church is herself only when she exists for humanity. She must take her part in the social life of the world, not lording it over men, but helping and serving them.”
I got a lump in my throat recently when I learned that our pastor served an elderly woman in our congregation by taking her sick cat to the vet. Ah yes, exactly the kind of service that leaves the aroma of Jesus.
I have to have a surrendered ego to serve others. To shut my mouth, forget the world’s definition of leadership, and quietly share life with my brother or sister requires the grace of humility. Jesus will help me. He was tempted in every way as I am to seek a power that is too good to serve but the temptation didn’t ensnare Him. He was meek, held His tongue except when His Father prompted Him to speak, and touched, fed, comforted, and healed. All without fanfare. When others would exalt Him to make Him king, He retreated.
Applause is the most confusing thing in my world. You have to sort this all out for me, Lord. Show me where, and how, to serve quietly. Amen