As we come to the end of what has been a really tough year, I did some reflection. And recently, God has placed in my heart to meditate about a servant’s heart. What does it mean to have a servant’s heart?
How is it important to us now, and how will having a servant’s heart prepare us for the long road of recovery that lies ahead?
My anchor passage for this message is from John 13.
Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet
13 Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that His hour had come that He should depart from this world to the Father, having loved His own who were in the world, He loved them to the end.
2 And [a]supper being ended, the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon’s son, to betray Him, 3 Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into His hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God, 4 rose from supper and laid aside His garments, took a towel and girded Himself. 5 After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. 6 Then He came to Simon Peter. And Peter said to Him, “Lord, are You washing my feet?”
7 Jesus answered and said to him, “What I am doing you do not understand now, but you will know after this.”
8 Peter said to Him, “You shall never wash my feet!”
Jesus answered him, “If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.”
9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, not my feet only, but also my hands and my head!”
10 Jesus said to him, “He who is bathed needs only to wash his feet, but is completely clean; and you are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who would betray Him; therefore He said, “You are not all clean.”
12 So when He had washed their feet, taken His garments, and sat down again, He said to them, “Do you [b]know what I have done to you? 13 You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. 16 Most assuredly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master; nor is he who is sent greater than he who sent him. 17 If you know these things, blessed are you if you do them.
We all know that God sent Jesus, His Son, to die on the cross for all our sins. We also know that Jesus, at every important juncture of His life, had the choice to obey, or to disobey His Father’s voice.
But to truly believe and receive this, it takes a lifetime of journeying and walking to understand the true depth and magnitude of His agape love for us.
The first point that I would like to bring up, is that His love is sacrificial.
A servant’s heart has sacrificial love, not just towards his master, but to everyone around him.
We are all used to transactional relationships, in the areas of doing business or even in personal relationships. There is an unspoken rule that if I scratch your back, I expect you to scratch mine.
But let us look at what Jesus did, when He came before the disciples and washed His feet. This was significant for a few reasons:
- Washing the feet of anyone is reserved for the lowliest servant at that time. Jesus took on the lowliest job, as a sign of humility and a display of love for His disciples.
- Jesus wants to set a good example that His disciples could follow and learn from. He is the model of a true leader, of letting actions speak louder than words. And He got down on His feet, and got His hands dirty (literally).
- At this point of time, Jesus was fully aware that Judas would betray Him. (If I were Jesus, I would have poured the dirty water over Judas!) But yet, He did the same to Judas as to the rest of the disciples, because His love comes in spite of what we do. This is truly agape love.
As a life coach, my business is about serving people. And trust me, serving people is not the easiest thing to do. Covid and economic recession further made this much, much harder.
Like many others, my business was affected too, as people’s income suffered. And not just myself, but many of my friends. Some of whom have to close their businesses and pivot for good.
But one thing that I realized during this period of time is that we still need to love, serve and give as much as we can. Showing kindness and concern towards others, even if it is as simple as a phone call or a text message, is really important. And of course, spending time being present with not just our own family, but our friends and associates, really made the difference.
I understand that many of us may not be at the “sacrificial” love stage yet, at least maybe not towards people outside of our family. (Myself included.)
So what are some of the ways we can move towards being more sacrificial in our loving, and giving?
3 simple ways that I would suggest, to get started:
- Start small
No matter where we are, there is always something we can bless others with. When I first started out as an entrepreneur, I had nothing to give to others. I was earning 0 income, and did not have the relevant network.
But I realized that I had a strong, positive mindset that was willing to learn and adapt. I was also nifty with some digital marketing skills, which I willingly shared with those who did not know anything about digital marketing. I volunteered to host and emcee networking events, just to serve others and bring energy to the meetings.
I believe that you have something to give others too. God has placed certain talents in each and every one of us, and you need to bring out that talent and use it to bless others. It could be your bright personality, your beautiful smile, your wisdom…. or any specific artistic or technical know-how…
Use it to bless someone today!
2. Make it a habit to serve, and give
If you will serve someone’s needs, it is the first step to winning that person over. John C. Maxwell mentioned this in his book “Winning with people.”
And to know someone’s needs, you have to be observant to what that person is saying, and what he is not saying. If you can make it a point to put other’s needs before your own, very soon, you will find other people coming forward to offer help. And you will also attract helpful people to yourself.
3. Encourage others to serve and give too!
Once you have made doing #1 and #2 a habit, it is time for you to reach out, and encourage others to serve and give together with you.
Joy shared is joy doubled!
You may even start a movement, to inspire people to serve and give together with you.