For the first time in my life, I’m doing something completely selfless – I’m taking time out of my busy “life achievement” schedule and focusing on taking care of my family. I’ll be the first to admit it’s harder than I expected and I can’t always see physical rewards, but I’ve come to the conclusion that God is reshaping my heart into that of a true servant.
In the past, I have been the type of woman looking for ways to make a splash or a visible difference – to get promotions and to be recognized for the work I put in. God has opened my eyes to see what a difference a change in emphasis can make – I’m talking about a life of serving versus a life of doing.
I’m starting to see how important a life with an emphasis on serving is – not just doing something because it somehow (ultimately) benefits me, but doing things and serving people in a way that shows the love of Christ. In my case, I’m serving my husband and children by helping them have a comfortable and peaceful place they call home.
“…Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must become your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” – Matthew 20:26-28
“…so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him… ‘Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you should also wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.'” – John 13:4-5, 14-15
Jesus modeled the perfect life of service – and knew that was what He was sent to earth to do. I’m so far from His perfect humility and selfless love for others, it sometimes shames me. But then I realize I’m a work in progress and He has given me this opportunity to grow – to completely empty myself of what I wanted and what I had “planned” for the life He has given me – to become more like Him. Becoming more Christ-like should be the primary goal of any Christ-follower, but I believe that many, like me, have lost sight of this essential part of our lives as a result of our ambition and busyness.
It’s time for us to stop achieving (or striving for achievement) and start serving. When we set aside our selfish desires, seek God and embrace a true servant’s attitude, we will be empowered by the Holy Spirit to do those things God has destined for our lives. We will find greater fulfillment – not to mention joy and peace – in the things God has designed for us.
Take time to think about the things you’re doing in your life – work, play, family, etc. Ask God if you’re doing the things He wants you to do. I believe one of the most dangerous prayers you can pray is, “Lord, I completely surrender my life to you; I want to serve you fully. Please show me the things you want me to do and the things that I’m doing that you want me to leave behind.” You may find God redirecting you, which will be scary at first, but let me encourage you:
“…Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” – Joshua 1:9
God knows what He’s doing. He has been with you all along and will continue to be with you as you take new steps in your life as His dedicated and faithful servant.