Several years ago, during a sermon at church, I had listened to a homily about what it means to be a servant.
“Servant?” I confusedly wondered. “Is this about forcing me to do certain things?” I wondered, seemingly confused about why the word “servant” was the topic of a sermon in church. Granted, I was a young girl, and my spiritual knowledge and wisdom were hardly developed, but the curiosity and eagerness to learn were there.
As time progressed, and I started asking more questions regarding faith and servitude, my focus on the meaning of servitude became clear—serving has little to do with being forced into something or fulfilling unpleasant obligations and everything to do with joyfully living the word.
While being a servant requires sacrifice, Jesus did not intend servitude to be grueling or miserable. Instead, serving is intended to help others and spread the goodness of His Kingdom. We are called to contribute, help, share and make a difference.
“Jesus emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men. Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross” (Philippians 2:7-8).
You were purposefully created with special gifts, talents and qualities, and it’s important to remember that we were not merely created to take up space with those special talents. Other people need you, and what you have to offer is invaluable! With those gifts, God then calls us to a life of service, and in acts of service, we become servants of God’s mission to add value to this world. To frown upon the role of servant is not only doing God a disservice but it’s a disservice to you, too, because servitude is God’s unique way to use you for His goals and your purpose in the world. Total spiritual win-win!
“It is God Himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others” (Ephesians 2:10).Why Does God Ask Us to Be His Servant
Although the word “servant” may traditionally align with meanings of oppression and bondage, serving God and His Kingdom means the polar opposite of a life of captivity; serving God is a means of true freedom. When you develop a servant’s heart, you begin to think more about others and less of yourself, breaking free of the shackles of pride and selfishness. You welcome the responsibility to be trusted by God to help others and you view the act of serving as a wonderful opportunity to live and share His word. Joy and fulfillment are found when serving others, and this revelation becomes clear when we welcome the opportunity to be a servant in Christ’s name.
Serving has little to do with being forced into something or fulfilling unpleasant obligations and everything to do with joyfully living the Word.
As I revisit memories of the servant-themed homily during a sermon from my childhood, I remind myself of the meaning of servitude, a meaning I discovered years later, and I am overwhelmingly thankful for the opportunity to seek and obey His will. Now, I understand that welcoming the life of a faithful, willing servant will not only bring fulfillment but allow me to serve God by serving others.