When I am on a mission whether domestic or international and I find myself complaining, I am almost always reminded of these words “I came to serve and not be served.” The King of Kings and Lord of Lords; the person with the most authority both here on Earth and in Heaven came to serve. He came to serve not only the people during his time on Earth, but every generation thereafter. He came to live out the Father’s mission. He even said he did not consider himself to be equal with the Father. These profound statements have shaped me in so many ways, especially in the last few years. When I think of people with authority in my life, I don’t look to them to serve me, but I think of how I can serve them.
My love for serving people and serving the kingdom stems from having this modeled to me from a very early age. I learned the beauty of serving others rather than being served. I cannot imagine a life without serving others, it’s a part of who I am and I pray that it is a part of who my family is and will be for generations to come.
Even though serving God and serving His people is a part of who I am, I cannot tell you how many times in my adult life I have signed up to serve someone or something and I find myself complaining. Even typing this out makes me laugh at how fickle I can be as a human. Something that I volunteered to do because I felt the prompting to do so, then leads to me complaining because it wasn’t what I expected or it wasn’t what I wanted, or I really would rather spend my time doing something else. It is in those moments I hear His words “I came to serve and not be served.” I am reminded to work as if I’m working for the Lord and not for man and to do all things without complaining and disputing. Isn’t that hard?! ALL things without complaining or arguing! Who can do all things without complaining?! If you look up the definition of complaining Google will tell you that it is the expression of dissatisfaction or annoyance about something. So, one might argue that we are born with instincts to complain. If a baby is hungry, or tired, or needs a diaper change, they cry about it. It then carries on as we age and we just find more things to complain about. How about arguing – all things without arguing? Our culture is constantly shouting at us to speak up and use our voice to draw attention to problems, which only leads to complaining about how things are not what they should be and arguing with one another about what we think or how we feel. But what if we didn’t and instead we really did everything without complaining and arguing? What if we just gave it to Jesus and truly accepted that He is sovereign over every single detail and that our voices are not always meant to be heard? What if we really were slow to speak, quick to listen, and slow to get angry? Can you even imagine a world like this? Or let’s bring it closer to home, what if your family or we the church truly brought peace and love to every situation? It’s incredible to even think about and imagine!
When I think about Jesus’ small but impactful statement “I came to serve and not be served” I am reminded of just how sinful I am by nature. How as a daughter of God I am called to put aside my feelings and my emotions to serve the people I call family and friends, and the people I don’t even know; I am reminded of how I am called to value their life, their time, their priorities above my own. I am called to be less than. I am called to love in a way that only the Spirit can do through me.
In Haiti during a Sunday morning church service they wash each other’s feet. One by one the congregation comes up, removes their shoes and dips their feet into a basin of water while the person behind comes to wash and then dry their feet until every person in the room has had their feet washed. It is a beautiful image of Christ washing his disciple’s feet and a beautiful reminder of what it looks like to be Christ here in the flesh.
When I give of my time, my talents, and my finances, God really starts to show me who He is. He reveals a little more of His character to me and allows me to reveal His light and His glory to those around me. So my prayer today is that the Lord would use me, that he would use Fish Co. to shine His light on the widows and orphans and that he would use the people of this world to come alongside Fish Co. and partner with us to fulfill His plans for His people! Amen