One of Lifepoint men’s ministry characteristics is servant leadership and this was discussed in a prior devotion. If you have not read it, I encourage you to check it out. In this devotional, we are going to talk about the other side of the coin; allowing others to serve you.
I do not know about you, but I find it much easier to serve than to be served. I suspect I am not alone in this. One person who comes to mind that struggled with being served was Peter. After the last supper when Jesus said he was going to wash the disciples feet, Peter said to Jesus “You shall never wash my feet ”. Thankfully the story did not end there. Jesus responded “If I do not wash you, you have no share with me”. Then Peter responded, “Lord, not my feet only but also my hands and my head”! So why did Peter not want Jesus to wash his feet? Is it possible that Peter may have thought that it was the job of the household servants to wash dirty feet and not his Rabbi? Regardless of the reason, can you imagine telling Jesus that He could not serve you? Especially since Jesus came to serve. His ultimate act of service was to give His life for us so that we could receive salvation and spend eternity with Him. So why did Peter change his mind about allowing Jesus to serve him? Jesus shifted Peter’s paradigm by telling him that he would have no share of Jesus if he did not allow Jesus to wash his feet .
Now, let’s get back to our struggle about being served. Allowing others to serve me is something I have had to work on for years and I am still working on it. This is why I volunteered to write this devotion. In order for me to allow others to serve me, it required a paradigm shift. So what was this paradigm shift? It is simple, I realized that serving others allows me to use my natural and supernatural gifts and if feels good to serve. So the shift is that if I get to use my gifts to serve others and it feels good, why would I rob others of the blessing of serving me? Every time I feel resistance to being served, I have to remind myself not to rob others of the blessing of serving.
I also think that as Christians we are taught to be like Jesus and since He came to serve and not to be served, we think we should be doing all the serving. However, I believe this thinking is flawed. First, serving seems to require two things, a server and someone to be served. Can you imagine what the church would be like if everyone refused to be served? How could we, as a community, share each other’s burdens?
Let’s look at being served from another perspective. Do we, as followers of Jesus, believe that we should always be the one doing the serving for people who are not followers of Jesus? Think about this for a moment. What do you really believe about this? Sure it is a blessing to serve people who are not followers of Jesus in hopes that they will see His love in us. However, I sometimes wonder what people we serve are thinking? Is it possible that we could have Peter’s original mindset that they should not serve us for some reason? Could we be robbing them of using their gifts? Do you think this could be off putting for them at times? Since we are all made in the image of God, I think it feels good for both followers and non-followers of Jesus to serve others. If this is true, is it possible that allowing non-followers of Jesus to serve those of us who are followers of Jesus could actually draw them closer to God?