A Servant's Attitude

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Christians are to be servants.

A waiter waits upon those at his table. A taxi-cab driver drives those in his vehicle. A hairdresser dresses the client’s hair. Most businesses are service oriented. The employees in the business world seem to overlook they are to be a servant. When someone does take this attitude, the customers are pleasantly surprised.

Christians are to be servants. It should be our outlook on life as well as our demeanor. I fear we often overlook this point in Scripture in favor of a more “customer” oriented approach. We want others to take care of things for us: visit the spiritually ill, participate in worship services, teach classes, and in general tell us what to do. It is true we are to be sheep in a flock led by the elders, but this is not the servant’s attitude. We’ve known some who want their every desire catered to in the church. They do not want to be a “doer” (James 1:22-26), but are quick to tell everyone else what to do, how to do, and when to do. When things do not go their way they are quick to speak up, though they seldom if ever are willing to step up and do anything when asked. These are not servants; these are customers who want to be waited on.

“Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind let each of you regard one another as more important than himself; do not merely look out for your own personal interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil. 2:3-4). The context that follows this passage discusses how Christ was a servant humbling Himself to the will of God. We are to “have this attitude in yourselves” (2:5). Do we? Is our attitude the one of the humble servant? “Do nothing from selfishness” means everyone else comes before me. I am the servant who see everyone else as more important than himself. Imagine a congregation of people who adopt this attitude. That’s the Lord’s church as God intends it!

“Do all things without grumbling or disputing” (Phil. 2:14). Now this is a passage we all need to hear. People like to grumble, especially when they think no one is listening. God hears. Missing is the attitude of allowing ourselves to be wronged (1 Cor. 6:7). How many servants in the worldly businesses endure mistreatment from customers? Yet we will not tolerate being wronged by a fellow saint. Can we not see this is un-Christ-like? Surely we can admit He was wronged by those He came to serve! “While being reviled, He did not revile in return: while suffering, He uttered no threats, but kept entrusting Himself to Him who judges righteously” (1 Pet. 2:23). How shameful when Christians grumble and dispute and so prove they are not following Christ and do not possess the attitude of the servant!

We all hate seeing fifteen road construction workers watching one man fill a pot-hole. What’s worse is seeing a congregation of “Christians” watching a few do all the work. We are ALL to be servants of God and servants of each other. Let us each work to adopt this attitude in ourselves!

Charles Willis

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