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When Being a Servant Becomes Destructive

November 11, 2019 0 Comments

The greatest among you will be your servant. Whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted. – Matthew 23:11-12 (CSB)

At times it seems that God’s Kingdom operates backwards from our human logic. In order to be great we are called to serve. The Bible even calls us to lay our lives down for others. To live a life for Christ is to live a life of service. This service should always be a reflection of love and not an obligation or duty. As we grow in Jesus, we should also grow in our passion to serve.

He said to him, “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the greatest and most important command. The second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets depend on these two commands.” – Matthew 22:37-40 (CSB)

What happens if we do not love our self?

We can easily get our self in trouble when we fail to receive by faith the full forgiveness of Jesus. Our acts of service then become an attempt to medicate our own guilt or shame.

Serving others can become destructive when:

  • We serve to hide or cover up our own feelings of inadequacy, guilt or shame
  • We serve to try and make up for our own failings or mistakes
  • We serve to gain sympathy or gain an advantage over another person
  • We serve because we take ownership for another persons happiness
  • We serve to try and gain the love or approval of others
  • We serve to try and gain the love and acceptance of Jesus.

Despite how hard we try, serving others will never fil the hole in our life that only God can. This type of service will most often lead to exhaustion and burnout.

There is no magic answer to make sure our heart for service is always in the right place. Even as we mature in Christ we will be prone to be guilty of serving for the wrong reasons.

Here are some points that might help:

  • Love for God must come first – Loving God with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind comes first. Cultivating our relationship with him should be the number one priority in our life.
  • Confess your sins often, if not daily. Even if we have come into faith in Jesus, we are still sinners. The Bible is clear if we confess our sins, God is faithful to forgive us. (1 John 1:9). At times it may be healthy to confess to another believer. (James 5:16). It also good to go straight to God. – Receive by faith that you are forgiven and walk in that confidence. You don’t have to work to earn your forgiveness. Jesus’ death on the cross was the complete work.
  • Practice the spiritual disciplines: – Bible study, prayer, fasting, fellowship with your church family
  • Take care of your self – Make sure you find time to rest and learn to practice a weekly Sabbath. Eat right and exercise. Satan wants you to be worn out and exhausted.

I know these points may be over simplified in this post but the key is that we love God first. He is our priority and we live for his glory. We also have to understand that God loves us. (Remember he sent his only son for you (John 3:6)). You don’t have to earn that love. God gives it to us by his grace. You may think that you are not worthy. In our self, none of us are worthy. But we don’t have to rely on our self. We can rely on the righteousness of Jesus Christ. He makes us worthy and deserving of God’s love.

Yes serving others will be tiring at times. Love God, take care of yourself and let your passion for God become your motivation to serve.

Need to know more about any of these points? Be sure and leave your questions in the comments below.

photo credit: Ferrum College IMG_0048 via photopin (license)

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Filed in: All In, Faith, Life, Ministry

About the Author:

I am enthusiastic about helping others discover their purpose and grow into a deeper relationship with Jesus. It is great to see their eyes light up at their “Ah Ha!” moment when they discover they were created for something more. My hope is that this blog will help encourage and inspire you along your way. Join the conversation and take the time to share with me your own story. I have been married to my beautiful wife Janice for over 30 years. We currently live in McDonough Georgia with our daughter. Our two boys have left the nest and we have two wonderful grand kids. Of course we cannot forget about our dog Bear.