“Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.” Philippians 2:3-4
We work in an organization of deliberate separation. We easily make decisions that affect others while only considering the way it affects us individually. We have little difficulty absolving ourselves of responsibility for our actions if at times those actions are most beneficial to our own personal desires.
If we pursue what is in our best interest, we cannot ignore the fact that what we do effects those around us. And while we might not always make popular decisions, we cannot turn away and simply say, “I have done no wrong,” or “I have done all I can.”
We have all made mistakes and we have all caused strife within our relationships, whether inadvertently or not. But we do not have to let circumstances lay, saying, “what’s done is done,” and seek to absolve ourselves of personal responsibility. Instead, we can go to our brother or sister and seek their forgiveness. For there comes a time when it does not matter who was wrong to begin with–as long as both harbor resentment there will be no peace.
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded.” John 13:3-5
Well aware of his own identity and his oneness with God the Father, Jesus performed the lowliest form of service possible for his followers. Jesus was completely secure in who he was and freely threw off any trappings of status to serve the ones he loved. Sometimes it is hardest to humble ourselves when we feel insecure and have to prove our worth to others or even to ourselves.
It can be just as humbling to accept service as it is to give it. Peter didn’t want Jesus to wash his feet. No doubt Peter felt unworthy. But Jesus was setting an example for all of us who want to follow him and convinced Peter to accept. Jesus had also set an example of receiving service when he allowed the woman to wash his feet with her tears and dry them with her hair. (Luke 7:38)
Being human, there are times we need to help others and times we need to accept help. Jesus is our model for both.
What gifts and talents has God given you? How can you use them to serve others? How can you learn to accept help when you need it?
“Yet it shall not be so among you; 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.”Matthew 20:26-27
God’s Kingdom operates by a different set of standards. Greatness is not found in position. Greatness is not found in the exercise of power. Greatness is not found in being served. Greatness is not found in commanding others. Greatness is not found in wealth. Greatness is not found in intellect. In God’s Kingdom, greatness is found in serving. If you are going to become greatest, you are going to serve other. It’s that simple. But in case we forget, God wants to remind us that the path of obedience, the path to greatness, the path of glory is found in serving others while we serve God.