I recently saw at sign at a business establishment that read, “We are at our best when we are at your service”. The slogan, intentional or unintentional, reflects a wonderful Biblical principle. Jesus said, “Whoever wants to become great among you must serve the rest of you like a servant. Whoever wants to become the first among you must serve all of you like a slave. In the same way, the Son of Man did not come to be served. He came to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many people” (Mark 10:43-45, NIV). The advertising slogan is true; we are at our best when serving others.
We live in an era when it seems many retail establishments such as fast food restaurants, discount stores, and even upscale businesses don’t understand the principle of serving. At times, patrons are treated as if they are an imposition rather than the basis for the server’s employment. Staff often appear preoccupied and unconcerned about client needs. I realize some of these employees may feel underpaid or may be having a bad day, but rude behavior or an inappropriate attitude is unacceptable. If a cheerful smile or kind word doesn’t change the atmosphere, I “let my feet do the talking”. Human endeavors of all kinds simply go better when a servant’s mentality is present.
There is a major trend across our culture toward ever-increasing self-centeredness. We are in an era of ‘me and mine’ at the center of our lives. It is the age of ‘selfies’- a ‘look at me’ mentality prevails! It’s a day of, ‘my issues are more important than your issues’. My observation is that a self-centered life has a curse on it and drives people away. Scripture bears out this concept:
- Eve’s drive of self-pleasing led to the ‘Fall’ and expulsion from the garden.
- It was self-centeredness and jealousy that led to Cain killing his brother.
- King Saul’s self-focused life caused him to loose his kingdom and his life.
- Jesus’ disciples, James and John vied for places above the others.
- Paul often addressed the issue in his letters to the early churches.
The happiest and most contented people I’ve ever known are those who follow the footsteps of Jesus who “did not come to be served. He came to serve others”
Prayer: Lord, help me to follow your pattern in seeking to serve others.
~ Brother Roy