Thinking Like a Servant
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One of the prerequisites for being a servant of God is to think like a servant. This would be fine if it wasn’t so impossible. We are all naturally wired to think only of ourselves.
Learning to give preference to others is one of the true marks of a Christian because it is so contrary to human nature. That’s why desiring it comes from God, and doing it comes through the Holy Spirit.
Paul said of Timothy: “I have no one else like Timothy, who genuinely cares for your welfare. All the others care only for themselves and not for what matters to Jesus Christ” (Philippians 2:20-21, NLT).
Hidden in these verses is the secret to making an attitude of servanthood become a part of your thinking. It starts with Jesus. When you fall in love with Jesus, you focus on Him and worship Him. As you do this, you find out about Him—you get to know Him as you would a friend—and soon you come to know what matters to Him, until finally, you start to realize that what matters to Him, matters to you. This is not just a factor of familiarity, either. There is a supernatural element at work here as well. What matters to Jesus connects with the Holy Spirit in you, and the Spirit answers from deep inside you to the call of truth.
Other people mattered deeply to Jesus. He could read their hurt and pain. Scripture says He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. Well where did that grief and sorrow come from if it didn’t come from the suffering of people around Him? In other words, He was carrying their grief. He was empathizing with their sorrow. Once a woman touched him in a desperate need to be healed, and He could feel the compassionate power go from Him even though He didn’t see who touched Him in the press of the crowd. He was that sensitive to the needs of those around Him.
Now truly, thinking like a servant doesn’t automatically make you one, but it goes a long way toward getting you there. If you are thinking like a servant, you are noticing others; and the more you are aware of others, the more the Holy Spirit can use you in reaching out to them. All this increases the opportunity for the gospel. People are simply not used to being served.
Take it from me, a guy who is not by any stretch servant material, it’s actually a relief to get off my most popular subject—me—and on to someone else. Ask God to help you think like a servant today, and I’m certain you’ll get a chance to be one.
Question: Where are there opportunities in your life (at home, work, church, or elsewhere) to “think like a servant”?