I need to remember that God owns everything. Anything I have has been placed in my trust by God, and I am responsible to be a good steward of it. It is impossible for me to serve both God and possessions. Servants think about their work, not what others are doing.” – Tim Challies.
A Fortune 500 company rolled out a quality and marketing campaign called Think Like A Customer. The program was an attempt for employees to get into the customer’s mindset. The customer has unfulfilled needs, and the business needs to think like a customer to capture those opportunities. The idea is to give customers a great experience, and they’ll buy more, be more loyal, and share their experience with friends. It is what the company strives for. One of the prerequisites for being a servant of God is to think like a servant. Learning to think of others first is one of the true marks of a Christian because it is so contrary to human nature.
At times, people can be difficult, and our first instinct is to not deal with them, let alone serve them. The people in your life can be difficult or hurtful, and often the first instinct of our flesh is to run or fight. It is never to serve.
Look at what 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).
Hidden in these verses is the secret to thinking like a servant. It starts and ends with Jesus. When you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you begin a relationship; over time, you focus on Him and worship Him as you learn more and more about Him. As you grow in Him, you naturally learn what matters to Him. And most importantly, you realize that what matters to Him matters to you.
No matter how often you read the passage of scripture where Jesus washes the disciple’s feet, you have to be in awe. At that time, the undesirable task of washing a guest’s feet belonged to the lowest servant. People of Jesus’s day wore sandals and walked upon unpaved roads caked with human refuse and animal waste. Their feet were horrendous. Jesus took on the mantle of the lowest servant when He removed His robe and demonstrated how to think and be a servant.
If that doesn’t amaze you, remember that Jesus knew who would betray Him. He knew His best friends would abandon Him. He knew Judas would sell Him to authorities for just a few pieces of silver. Would we still think like servants, or would we look for retribution? Yet, Jesus’ response was tender service. He poured out love to His wayward friends in both His words and His actions. He asks us to do the same: “For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.” (Galatians 5:13).
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 to serve.
- What does it mean to you to think like a servant?
- How can we think like a servant this week?