“Whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served, but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45
In our Bible Study this week, somebody mentioned a time when she often missed church because on the weekends, she had to care for her mother who had developed Alzheimer’s. She said it was a time when she learned to become a servant to another person, someone who often wasn’t very nice to her.
I respect this lady for her devotion to her mother during a difficult time. I’m sure it was made easier because she was able to remember times when her mother had cared for her lovingly, times before her brain became affected by disease. Often in our daily life, we are all called to be servants to people who seem rude or mean, and we find it hard to love them and excuse them, because we don’t see a reason for their behavior. They don’t have a faulty brain.
It’s good at those times to remember that all of us are afflicted by the same disease which sometimes causes us to act out in ways that appear selfish and incomprehensible. That disease is called SIN. I’m not saying we submit to abuse from another, but we can give them the benefit of the doubt. Sometimes people act badly when they’re tired, they’ve had a bad day, feel out of control or somebody just “pushed their buttons.” Sometimes they act badly because they’ve learned bad behavior from others, or feel insecure, or have had to deal with trauma in the past. There are a million reasons. They don’t excuse sin, but they help to explain it. It is a kind of brain affliction and we all suffer from it to one degree or another, and sometimes we all need to be forgiven.
Sometimes we decide to avoid people who irritate us, annoy us, don’t appreciate us. That’s not the best solution. Getting to know another sinner (remember that’s someone just like you), may lead you to see their good qualities; it may allow you to influence them in a positive way; you may come to love them, even if you don’t always like them. It may even lead them to give you a second chance on the days you need it!
In the verses above, Jesus tells us in no uncertain terms that servanthood is required. We should probably start practicing today.
For more on being a servant, view these posts: