Reading today’s entry in the Eastridge daily reading plan was an eye opener. I’ve read the book of Luke I don’t know how many times, so I’ve read today’s chapter countless times. But Luke 17:7-10 packed a punch for me today. Here Jesus says:
7 “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’?8 Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’?9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do?
10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’ ”
Luke 17:7-10 (NIV)
Consider my toes stepped on here. I’ve been way too guilty way too many times of thinking I should be looked at as something special because I serve in ministry (or even worse, because I lead a ministry team). I’m also guilty of whining or grumbling when I’m asked to go even a little out of my way in ministry.
Jesus says it pretty plainly here…we’re the servants. Never should we expect to be treated poorly by our Master, but we should always count on putting our own wants and desires above His. It should be second nature to us as servants to lay our lives aside to do what He calls us to do.
I’m going to go ahead and risk a Wayne’s World reference here, because the truth is we’re not worthy to do anything other than the bidding of the One who bought us with a heavy price and set us free from our chains. It’s an ironic thing to think of: we’re set free to serve. But that’s the truth.
To look at it another way…we often use the phrase “serving their country” when we talk about our servicemen or veterans. The truest, most devoted soldier is the one who sees his or her service as merely doing a duty…fulfilling a call…serving because it’s what he or she is meant to do. If our brave servicemen and women can be so humble about laying their lives on the line for us, we should be able to be humble about our service for God’s purposes.
I’m going to do my best to not think of myself as privileged because of my service to God and His kingdom. I’m going to work hard to avoid expecting reward or accolades for what I do for Him. After all, I am an unworthy servant; I am only doing my duty.