What does it mean to truly be a servant? How can we truly serve others on a daily basis? In our culture of instant gratification and busyness, to stop and look around for ways we can help others, even our own family and friends, takes effort. It takes time. It means to stop focusing on our own crazy lives, even for just a bit, and focusing on someone else instead.
However, being a servant is less about the outward action, and more about the heart. Where is your heart? While rushing around to finish last minute errands, where is your heart? When stopped by a stranger asking for help, where is your heart? Sure, you can pick up a precious shoe box to fill for a child in need during the holiday season, but if your heart isn’t in the right place, what is the point? To truly be a servant means to place someone else’s needs and wants above your own, and finding joy in it! Are you joyful?
Last year, our family was studying the life of Jesus. What a perfect example of servitude! We learned how Jesus washed the disciples feet, and we then took turns washing each other’s feet. (stinky boy feet are not fun to wash by hand). After all the giggles and fake gags, (ok, maybe some were real), we sat and talked about what had just taken place. When asked how it felt to wash each other’s feet, each boy said, “It was gross!” None of them actually wanted to participate in this activity. Then we asked how they felt now that their own feet were clean. They all said, “Great!” After a bit more discussion, we asked them how it felt to put aside their own wants and feelings to do something for their brother that made their brother feel so good. Each boy said it was awesome. It was awesome because of their love for each other. They saw it from a different viewpoint, and it made all the difference. Their hearts had changed.
Being a servant isn’t something that should only take place periodically. Serving others, joyfully putting the needs of others before our own, is something we can do every day. It doesn’t have to be a huge, grand gesture. It doesn’t have to cost anything. It can be as simple as making your spouse’s lunch for work, making sure your family has clean clothes in their closets, even homeschooling. As you go about your day, remind yourself why you do the things you do. Is it for personal gain? Is it because of necessity? Or is it because of love? Friend, where is your heart today?