Having a Servant’s Heart
In April, at the Brothers’ Ministry, Father Dale talked about service and having a servant’s heart. This topic has been on my mind and it is my hope that in sharing my thoughts, I will provide a personal reflection that moves a few hearts.
Several years ago, at the beginning of our Deacon training, Father Dale started by saying there were three things he wanted us to know about being a Deacon. The first was Service, the second was Service, and the third important thing was, Service. I have tried to take this to heart, to understand the importance of being in service, and to say “Yes” whenever I am called and can serve.
This idea of service applies to all of us. In Joshua, Chapter 22, verse 5, (NIV) it is written “Love the Lord, keep his commands, and serve him with all your heart and with all your soul.” We know that God wants us to serve others with a heart full of devotion. However, it is hard to consistently maintain that service attitude, especially if you are resentful. It is best to do something else, then to try and do the service act resentfully.
Quite often we are selfish and self-centered. Growing up I was self-centered and thought everything was about me. I understand that for someone to be selfish, there must be someone to be selfless to allow the selfishness to occur. Once I became aware of how selfish I could be, I have tried to change the behavior and I work towards being selfless. However, it is an ongoing battle, and I must be aware of the importance of having a servant’s heart.
How then do we maintain our spiritual passion and selflessness? Motive is everything. It must come from our heart, for everything we do flows from it. Service is primarily a heart issue, in the heart is our why and the reason we do what we do. Our behavior will not change until our heart changes. It helps me to remember it is all for Jesus!
When in service, I try to be humble. It is easier to be in service when we are humble. Some of the best servant hearts I know are the people I work with on the cleaning team. They consistently work hard, put others first, and none of their work is about recognition. Also, when being in service, it is essential that we have compassion for others who are hurting. If we are selfless, we are more open to recognizing when others are hurting, and we can be there for them. Finally, we need to be merciful. True servants are merciful; they care and get involved, and they get dirty if necessary.
Every act of servanthood-no matter how small or large- will be remembered by our God. God takes special note of the heart, He knows the love behind our actions. Special rewards are reserved in heaven for those that serve as we can say “Well done thou good and faithful servant”. We can all serve with a heart like Jesus. Stay in step with Jesus, and never stop loving him.