Friday, August 3, 2007

Jesus did not come to be served, but to serve

Through His word, God taught me a very valuable lesson this week. A good majority of my job is dealing with conflict. Conflict with guests, conflict with employees, and conflict with homeowners (we manage 16o independently owned homes that we rent out nightly to guests). At times it is exhausting and at other times is just plain "rip your hair out" fustrating (I'm balding by the way). At a Bible study this week our pastor read the following verses out of Mark and Luke and we discussed how Jesus commands us to serve one another. Not just the people we love, but everyone. Those verses really opened my eyes to how selfish I am when it comes to dealing with other people.

I have had many opportunities to put it to practice this week at work. I succeeded at some and failed at others. One thing is for sure, it has really reduced the stress of having to deal with conflict. Instead of going into it with the "I have to win" mentality, I try to think "how can I make this a win for them." For example, if the cashier at the grocery store is talking for a long time with the customer in front of me instead of keeping things moving (we have all experienced this), I generally will think about how inconvenient it is for me and how "if this store had customer service then I would have been through this line 5 minutes ago." Instead, I could ask, how can I serve her/him today. Maybe it is by being patient. Instead of getting to the front and being short and ticked off, maybe I can ask how their day is going. Maybe I could assist in bagging my groceries or thank them for standing on their feet all day to help customers like me.

When someone calls my office and is being very rude and unpleasant, instead of getting self righteous and rude and unpleasant back, I can serve them by being pleasant, understanding, compassionate, and giving.

I could really use this in my marriage. If Holly has had a rough day and is tired an irritable. Instead of snapping back at her, I could give her a back rub, cook dinner, help around the house, or look for other ways that I could serve her.

Jesus gave up his throne to come to Earth so that He could serve humanity. If God is willing to serve the likes of us, it shouldn't be a problem for us to serve each other. Most importantly, by serving each other, we are also serving God. - RB

Mark (Chapter 10: 42-45)

Jesus called them together and said, "You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many."

Luke (Chapter 22: 24-27)

Then they began to argue among themselves about who would be the greatest among them. Jesus told them, “In this world the kings and great men lord it over their people, yet they are called ‘friends of the people.’ But among you it will be different. Those who are the greatest among you should take the lowest rank, and the leader should be like a servant. Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.

1 comment:

  1. Great word, Robert. I appreciate your honesty and comittment in your quest to become more like Jesus. I'm proud to call you my friend. It's great to have a friend who accepts me for exactly who I am. Your service to me has been this unconditional acceptance, even in the midst of knowing the "bad" as well as the good. Thanks, my true friend. A rare thing in today's day and age.