I am called to be… a servant.
This summer, I’ve been working as a housekeeper at a camp that I came to every year growing up. I expected the work to be easy and to be spending a majority of my time lying out on the beach. The Lord had different plans, however, and has been teaching me a lot about serving. My job isn’t glamorous, and most of the time, it isn’t very fun. I clean a lot of toilets, take out a lot of trash, and work in the cafeteria for a meal every day. It is easy to get bitter and complain about the work I have to do. There is, however, a better way.
Jesus was the greatest example of what true servanthood looks like. Philippians 2:7 says, “But he gave up his place with God and made himself nothing. He was born as a man and became like a servant.” (NCV) Jesus healed many, fed many, and even washed the dirty feet of his disciples. He deserved to be worshipped, exalted, and served, but instead He humbled Himself and became the servant. This is the example we should be following in our jobs, homes, and other parts of our lives. Jesus tells us in Matthew 20:26-28, “…But whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant. And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” (NKJV)
There are two ways to approach this whole servanthood thing. You can do the work, mumbling to yourself about how you don’t earn enough money and you hate your job. You can loudly declare that you are serving people and they should be grateful for the sacrifice you are making. In the end, the work still gets done, but it leaves a sour taste in your mouth and a bad influence on others. The other way is with a good attitude, remembering that you are working for the Lord. Matthew 23:11-12 says, “But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (NKJV) Personally, I don’t have the second state of mind every day, but I strive to do so. I want to be noticed for serving with a sweet smile, a humble heart, and a giving spirit. I have to remind myself, “And whatever you do in word or deed, do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Colossians 3:17 NKJV)
This summer has taught me a lot about serving through my job. My goal is to apply this to my relationships when I return home and to college. Simple tasks like offering to do the dishes may please my parents, but they please God more. Other acts of service may be running an errand for a friend or editing my boyfriend’s blog posts. 😛 Service goes beyond that, though. My goal for this semester is to get involved with a service opportunity where I can be the hands and feet of Christ. It not only brings joy to our Father, but it can be a source of great joy for us as well. Today, we had an event called Beach Reach where we hung out by the pier and had cornhole, face painting, volleyball, and more. A couple of staffers and I walked down the beach with a bunch of water bottles, handing them out to the tourists enjoying the island. This simple service doesn’t move mountains, but it was a great reminder to me of the kind of servant I want to be. One lady hesitantly took a water bottle and asked me why we were handing them out. I replied, “We’re just out sharing the love of Christ.” I almost couldn’t believe those blunt and cliché words came out of my mouth, but the smile she displayed made me believe my little act of service made some kind of a difference in her day. You never know the impact you can have by serving others. I encourage you to strive to be a humble and joyful servant today.
Ephesians 6:5-7 (MSG)
“Servants, respectfully obey your earthly masters but always with an eye to obeying the real master, Christ. Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God.”
This is why I’m called to be a servant.