What comes to mind when you think of this word: servant?
Now, what comes to mind when you think of this word: master?
The two are indivisibly intertwined, and what you think of one often directs what you think of the other.
When I think of a servant, it takes me back to the Bible and the story in John 2 of the wedding where Jesus turned the water into wine. I think of the servants bringing Him the foot-washing containers, probably wondering where this was all going, but doing what He said anyway. He wasn’t directly their master, but when Mary told them to do what He told them, they did. They were servants. They did as they were asked.
Jesus spoke often of His followers taking on the role of a servant. He even demonstrated the concept in John 13 when He put on a servant’s towel and washed His disciples' feet. This even included Judas, the one who would betray Him. There’s a whole other story there.
I gather from scripture that He tells me to be a servant, as well. And like I said before, what we think of one, the servant or the master, often determines what we think of the other. Admittedly, I needed a tweak in that area, and by God’s grace, I got one.
My view of being a servant was a wee-bit contorted due to the fact that I’ve had some masters in my life that were unkind, even unethical in their dealings with me and others. It made it hard to take on the servant attitude that Jesus calls for. I learned to do what I was told, but I didn’t respect who was giving the orders.
Then I read the first part of 2 Corinthians 4.
I was particularly moved by the first verse that says that I have been given a ministry through God’s mercy and must not lose hope. I had been feeling a little bit down about the growth of my ministry--or lack thereof--and really needed that pick-me-up. But when I kept reading and got down to verse 5 where the apostle Paul once again declared himself to be a servant, the light bulb went on.
And quite brilliantly, I might add.
I am a servant to Jesus Christ. He is my Master. I know, I know. This is a no-brainer. Right? Still, there was something that needed to catch for me.
So, if what I think about servanthood is directly related to what I think about the Master, what can I know about the Master?
First, I like the fact that the servant doesn’t pay the bills. The Master does. Now that I’ve started my own writing business, I like that very, very much. It means I should just relax, and serve.
Second, because my Master is Jesus, I know that my Master is good. He is so good. And because He is good, I know without a doubt that the tasks He asks of me will be useful and good. Above all, I know that He will give me what I need to do what He asks. He’s beyond good. He is extraordinary.
Those extraordinary masters rarely make the news, because there aren’t really very many of them that get noticed. But when they do, the truly good masters get recognized for going the extra mile, giving their charges what they need to succeed, being generous and kind beyond measure, and being interested in the individual.
Yep. Sounds like my Jesus.
I have to admit, Mr. Webster helped me a little bit more with his definition of a servant in the dictionary. The first definition is, of course, wrapped around the one who is hired to do chores and other duties. That’s why we can sometimes cringe when we hear the word. But then there was a second definition. I liked that one. It says that a servant is one who is devoted to or guided by something. Yes, I liked that one very much. Because there is no other One I want to be devoted to or guided by than my Jesus. It makes the chores and duties more meaningful because they are eternal.
After all, isn’t that what matters?
It’s simple, really. What I think of one will determine what I think of the other. And I think it’s time that I serve my good Master with all that I am and all that I have. I know I will never be sorry.
©2014 Wendi Miller
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