Servanthood

Servanthood takes on many different forms in each of our minds. The first thought I had of servanthood is a butler. The posh, elderly Englishman with a twinge of sarcasm, similar to someone like Alfred from Batman. Whenever I think of a butler, I’m inclined to think of my elementary school days asking random questions in the computer lab on askjeeves.com to the butler named Jeeves. Of course Ask Jeeves no longer exists and this is probably not a great way for Christians to think of servanthood either. In truth, there are many examples of servanthood in the Bible, even butler-type characters like Abraham’s servant who goes out to find a wife for Abraham’s son Isaac. The best example we have of a servant is probably in Philippians 2. 

3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves.4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus,6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men.8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 

In this section of Scripture, we see what the purest form of servanthood looks like. In verse 3 it says that there is no ambition or anything to be gained from this, but in humility to look at others as more important than ourselves. In verse 4 it says when serving that there should be no interest in you, but in serving others. In verse 5, and here’s the kicker, it says that we should have the same mind as Christ in our service and here it describes what that looks like: He was God in heaven and yet He emptied Himself and became a servant and was born a man. In this service, he even died for these fellow men.

What is amazing about this kind of servanthood that we see here is that the servant is not as focused on the chore at hand as the heart and mind in which the servant serves. This should be true in our own life as well. When we have to deal with a messy situation, maybe in a chore that we do not want to do, do we happily put our heads down and get to work or do we grumble and look for the nearest exit? Do we take on the mind of He who gave up everything to be a servant to the lowest of the low? It should be the focus of every Christian to be more like Christ and a great way to start is by focusing on how we serve.

~ Josiah