Our pastor preached on Philippians 2:1-4 recently, reminding me of the humility needed to be a true servant. As he spoke, the Holy Spirit posed these questions.
1. Will I serve without being recognized?
I've been guilty of serving for the recognition of others. Whenever I do, I feel soiled, like my soul is dirty. But what if my service is all a one-way street, and it never comes back to me? What if I get no pat on the back, no 'honorable mention?' Is the knowledge that I'm following Christ's example enough for me?
2. Will I serve though I might be dishonored?
Should I serve when the people I serve actually strike out at me? That's crazy! But wait a minute. Isn't this exactly what Christ did? Didn't the people He came to serve attack and belittle Him? Lord, help me to have Christ's attitude about serving.
3. Will I regard others as more important than I am?
I agree with God in my heart that I should see others as more important. But when I act, I fall back on old habits and focus on my own interests. If others are more important, then my actions should reflect that.
4. Will I serve where and how I want, or how God says?
Most of the time I decide how and where to serve based on personal desires. I usually only serve where I feel comfortable and in control. I stay away from serving in ways I'm not good at. But what if God directs me to an area where I am not particularly equipped? Will I do His will or mine?
5. Will I preserve the harmony of the church as I serve?
Some people serve yet leave a wake of muttering, complaining, and agitating behind them. They drop little seeds of discord by saying "This could have been done so much better" or "We did this so much better last year." Lord, don't let me do that.
6. Does my service elevate the value of all church ministries, or just the one I love?
When true servants work in the church, they benefit not only one area, but also the church at large. Just as the first deacons waited tables, yet the whole church profited, a true servant makes the whole body function better. Do you serve in a spirit of competition, lifting up one ministry but dragging down others?
Lord, let all church leaders serve as purely as You served Your Father.