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Serving in style
- Jacob Ninan
Most people live for themselves, but a few do serve the others. But to serve is not enough, but we are to serve as Jesus did. Some people serve expecting to get appreciation and applause, some look for service in return when they need it and some seek for blessings from God as a reward. But when we want to serve like Jesus did, it is not enough to ask, "What would Jesus do?" but also "How would Jesus do?" Being like Jesus has to come before doing like Jesus.
Even though Jesus was Teacher and Lord, He took the initiative to wash His disciples' feet (Jn.13:12-15). He needn't even have demanded it but He could have just suggested it and He could have got one of the disciples to do it. Sure, He did it this time to make an example of it, but this was just His style, always serving His people, us. He came down from heaven to serve us, and His life was spent serving (Jn.4:34).
Why do we hesitate to serve? Do we think it is beneath our status? Somebody else should do it? If we do it, people will expect us to do it the next time also? People will lose their respect for us and sit on our head? Isn't it someone else's job? The problem is not with all these questions, but that we just don't have Jesus' mind and style.
Jesus never thought that serving was something lowly or demeaning. In His kingdom, the one who serves most is the greatest (Mk.9:35). Those who wait to be served are unfit there. That is why His style is different from that of this world. Another thing is that in His kingdom, even those this world would consider as 'the least' would be just as valuable as Jesus Himself. If we serve any of them, it would be just the same as serving Him (Mt.25:40). When we consider someone else as lowly because of his social or financial status, colour, community, race, etc., it shows we are far away from Jesus' mind and style.
Jesus considered serving as being greater and more valuable than His own comfort or pleasure. That is why He came down to us. When we consider it 'a great sacrifice' to deny ourselves and serve the others and do not see it as something greatly valuable we again demonstrate that we don't have the mind of Christ (Php.2:5-7).
Serving is the lifestyle in Jesus' kingdom. The more we learn it the more we make ourselves comfortable in the kingdom.
Jesus never allowed anyone to bully Him or 'sit on His head.' He was always in control. He knew where to draw the line and how to do it. He served because He wanted to do good to the others. He did it differently at different times, sometimes in the form of a servant and sometimes acting with authority. But it was always with the good of the others as His goal. That is where we have to be basically transformed, from seeking our own good to seeking others' good. It is a change of mind that we need, and not just a change of action. The more we are able to consider the others as more important than ourselves (Php.2:3 NASB), the more our actions will also fall in line.