Why Do You Go Places?

Kevin Miller, a pastor, asked this question on Facebook.

“What makes it hard for you to serve other people?”

Here are some of the answers people posted as their reasons for why it was hard to serve other people.

“Serving is hard when it doesn’t fit in to my schedule or plan. Like when I want to go for a walk or take a long bath, but my aging parent needs me to sort their meds, run an errand, or simply be with them.”

“It’s hard when their need seems endless. I don’t want to risk helping/serving because I may get sucked in. Being swallowed up in the serving and not getting to be the me I think I am or should be.”

“There is such limited energy left after a demanding workday meeting our basic responsibilities (whether with young kids or in the corporate world). How do you balance the need for rest and self-care with serving others?”

And then here is one answer that short and simple, but something you will probably understand: “What makes it hard to serve others? Others.”

Be a servant; serve others; others first; these are nice clichés. And phrases like “servant leadership” are quite popular today. They sound nice, and they touch on a very important principle. But here is the question – how much do you genuinely serve others?

Consider the significance of Mark 10:35-45. Here, two of the men who followed Jesus asked Jesus if they could be the two most powerful people with authority in the world-wide kingdom that He will set up in the world in the future. He told them that having aspirations to be powerful and to have authority over people – to be at the top, to climb the corporate ladder, to be in charge, to be the boss, to be the top dog, or whatever you want to call it – is a very natural goal, and a very popular motivation in the secular world – in government especially, but in so many other avenues.

But in God’s kingdom – whether in His spiritual kingdom now, or His actual kingdom on this world in the future – this is not the right perspective. The right perspective is to serve.

And what example does He give? He says in Mark 10:45 that even the Son of Man did not come to be served by other people, but He came to serve – even to give His life for the benefit of other people.

The phrase – Son of Man – expresses the idea that Jesus is the ultimate human being, the top human being that has ever existed, the premier person, the one that all other human beings should answer to. But even the most important, the ultimate human being, the person who in all of history had the most authority of any other human being – Jesus Christ – even He didn’t come into the world so that other people would serve Him. No, he came so that He could serve other people. In fact, He chose to bend his knees and wash the feet of the men who followed Him, when according to the common customs, the household servants should have been doing that.

So here is the question I want to ask you. Why do you go places?

Jesus came into the world to be a servant. Is that why you went into the world today? Did you leave your bedroom this morning so that you could help meet the needs of the people in your family? Did you come into your classroom at school, your office or job-site at work to serve people (your teacher and fellow classmates; your boss and your fellow employees); did you go to church to get a blessing from other people, or to BE a blessing to other people. Why do you go places?

Pause to consider this very important question. I fear our perspective is far too much like the men who followed Jesus. They wanted to be important. They wanted to tell people what to do, to be in charge. They were not looking for ways to be a servant. But you can change that. Start now. And learn to start your day by asking this question, “Who can I serve today?” Then step out of your bedroom on a mission to be a servant for Jesus Christ. Here’s the amazing thing. You’ll find that He will help you to do it – because that’s what Jesus is all about – serving others.

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