The only really happy people are those who have learned to serve. -Albert Schweitzer
Think of yourselves the way Jesus thought of himself. –Philippians 2.5 (Msg)
Service starts in our minds:
To be a servant requires a mental shift, a change in attitudes. God is always interested in why we do something than in what we do. We serve God with a mindset of 5 attitudes:
-Servants think more about others than about themselves. This is true humility: not thinking less of ourselves, but thinking of ourselves less. When we stop focusing on our own needs, we become aware of the needs around us. We then do the things that deserve to be remembered.
Unfortunately, a lot of our service is often self-serving—we serve to get others to like us, to be admired, or to achieve our own goals. We’re really thinking about ourselves & how noble and wonderful we are.
Real servants don’t try to use God for their purposes; they let God use them for his purposes.
Thinking like a servant is difficult because it challenges the basic problem of our life: We are, by nature, selfish. We think most about ourselves. That’s why humility is a daily struggle, a lesson we must learn over & over. The opportunity to be a servant confronts us daily, in which we are given the choice to decide between meeting our needs or the needs of others.
We can measure our servant’s heart by how we respond when others treat us like servants. How do we react when we are taken for granted, bossed around, or treated as inferior?
-Servants think like stewards, not owners. Servants remember that God owns it all. How are we handling the resources God has entrusted to us?
We can’t serve both God & money, so which one will we choose? All our time belongs to God—he insists on exclusive allegiance, not part-time faithfulness.
Money has the greatest potential to replace God in our life. Many are sidetracked from serving by materialism than by anything else.
When Jesus is your Master, money serves you, but if money is your master, you become its slave.
-Servants think about their work, not what others are doing. They don’t compare, criticize, or compete with other servants or ministries. They’re too busy doing the work God has given them.
-Servants base their identity in Christ. If we are going to be servants, we must settle our identity in Christ. Warren states only secure people can serve. Insecure people are always worrying about how they appear to others. They fear exposure of their weaknesses & hide beneath layers of protective pride & pretensions. The more insecure we are, the more we will want people to serve us, & the more we will need their approval.
When we base our worth & identity on our relationship to Christ, we are freed from the expectations of others, & that allows us to really serve them best.
-Servants think of ministry as an opportunity, not an obligation. They enjoy helping people, meeting needs, & doing ministry. They “serve the Lord with gladness”. They know serving is the highest use of life.
Question to Consider: Am I usually more concerned about being served or finding ways to serve others?
* We will be writing about what inspires us from each consecutive chapter of Warren’s Purpose Driven Life. If you read along with us, please share your inspirations. There’s no need to catch up, just jump right in.