33 Days Down! 7 Days to Go!
Wow this time next week I will be finishing this book! It was just yesterday that I was starting this book 🙂
Today’s chapter is part one of a two parter on servanthood. One line from the chapter shares, “Thousands of books have been written on leadership, but few on servanthood.”
God Shaped Us for Service
In my research and in my life experiences, I have seen how culture affects and effects everything that people do and understanding and accepting the idea of us as servants definitely varies based on culture. Rev. Warren talks about how the US’ “Me”/Individualist culture makes it difficult for US citizens, residents and those cultured with US norms to accept the idea of servanthood. I have lived in and visited countries where the culture was more collectivist, where the idea of serving others or doing tasks without public acknowledgement or fame is the norm, and based on my experiences the idea of servanthood is less likely to be a problem in such places. However, no matter your cultural background, God’s culture calls for servanthood but understanding your earthly culture can assist you in figuring out what needs to get out of the way so that God’s culture becomes the dominant culture in your life. But why is a service culture important? Rev. Warren shares:
Without a servant’s heart, you will be tempted to misuse your shape for personal gain. You will also be tempted to use it as an excuse to exempt yourself from meeting some needs…Your shape [see chapters 30 & 31] reveals your ministry, but your servant’s heart will reveal your maturity. No special talent or gift is required to stay after a meeting to pick up trash or stack chairs. Anyone can be a servant. All it requires is character.
Good, Better, Best Doesn’t Matter in God’s Culture of Servanthood
Yes, as individuals we should all strive to do our best in all things however God doesn’t require us to be at our best to serve Him just like God didn’t/doesn’t require us to be at our best to accept Him as our savior. God builds us as we grow into greater relationship with Him and it is the same idea with servanthood. Good, better, best or where you start doesn’t matter, God rewards effort! Today’s OjO moment comes from the following passage:
The Bible says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you will never get anything done [Ecclesiastes 11:4 NLT].”…One reason many people never serve is that they fear they are not good enough to serve. They have believed the lie that serving God is only for superstars. Some churches have fostered this myth by making “excellence” an idol, which makes people of average talent hesitant to get involved. You may have heard it said, “If it can’t be done with excellence, don’t do it.” Well, Jesus never said that! The truth is, almost everything we do is done poorly when we first start doing it — that’s how we learn.
Faithful and Humble
In line with the above, I feel its important to share that as we grow in relationship and servanthood in God that we all need to remind ourselves to stay faithful and to stay humble. I know I have to check my human nature (flesh) on this sometimes still. On faithfulness as a servant, Rev. Warren imparts the following:
Servants finish their tasks, fulfill their responsibilities, keep their promises, and complete their commitments. They don’t leave a job half undone, and they don’t quit when they get discouraged. They are trustworthy and dependable. Faithfulness has always been a rare quality. Most people don’t know the meaning of commitment.
On staying humble and encouraged in your area of service, Rev. Warren writes this warning and encouragement:
Unfortunately, many leaders today start off as servants but end up as celebrities. They become addicted to attention, unaware that always being in the spotlight blinds you. You may be serving in obscurity in some small place, feeling unknown and unappreciated. Listen: God put you where you are for a purpose!
To close today’s Question to Consider is,”which of the six characteristics of real servants offers the greatest challenge to me?”
The characteristic that causes the greatest challenge for me is the one that talks about maintaining a low profile. Its kinda weird because as much as I don’t like keeping a low profile I like keeping a low profile…Basically, I’ll go through moments where I think, “oh why am I not being noticed like so and so,” which connects with yesterday’s message about unique gifting, but then if I do get the attention “I want” I then want to tuck my head back into my shell 😦 Most of the time I am okay with just doing my thing and doing it well (which reminds me of one of my fav Nsync songs “Do Your Thing” :)). But sometimes I think I want more but then realize maybe not so much which is why this characteristic is a challenge.