Skip to main content

Servant - The Highest Calling Possible

Last Sunday we began a series on the book of James. We will be addressing the misunderstandings,any people have about religion and pursuing the authentic Christianity James challenges us toward.i think our understanding of James' book begins with understanding how James viewed himself.

James’ identity in his own mind is that of a servant. He could have claimed “leadership” of the Jerusalem church, he could have claimed brotherhood to Jesus or sonship of Mary. Instead he chose to identify himself as a servant.

It would not be inconsistent to suggest that servanthood is one of the central character traits of those who have chosen to follow Christ.

Jesus suggested as much when he washed the feet of his disciples in John 13 and then told them to do the same for each other. This was a job reserved for servants and slaves.

Paul made a similar suggestion in Philippians 2 when he told the church to take on the mind of Christ, and then went on to describe Christ’s attitude as one of a servant, who subjects himself to an office far below that which he deserves.

For those who adopt servanthood as a marking identity, there is no room for pride, self-centeredness, entitlement, upward mobility, seeking personal advancement, etc. True servanthood requires the servant to be content with his station in life (“I have learned to be content…”) and to work only for the good of his master, not himself (“seek first the kingdom of heaven”).

If I am concerned with getting what I want or deserve, I am not a servant. If I am concerned with pusuing my own needs or advancement, I am not a servant. If I’m more concerned with how people think about me than with how they think about my master, I’m not a good servant. My only responsibility as a servant is to do everything within my power to bring the greatest possible benefit to my master.

James identified his masters as God and Jesus. When the cosmic dust has settled on the ever-waged warfare between right and wrong, it will be better to have been servants of the winner than to be king of the loser. Power, authority, fame, respect, and everything else the world encourages us to value and pursue for ourselves will all be meaningless if they put me on the wrong side of the conflict. The world promises many kingships and lordships and high offices, God promises none. In fact, there only exist two offices on God’s side, God and servants. If I am willing to be his servant, I am with him, if not, I lose.



Popular posts from this blog

The Inability of Metaphors and Similes to Describe the Church

The difference between a metaphor and a simile is the word "like."   (that's perhaps overly simplistic, but useful: Metaphor: You're a Dog. Simile: You're like a Dog. Of course, neither a metaphor nor a simile really does a good job of  proclaiming reality: You aren't a Dog. Often times, Jesus and His friends used metaphors and similes to  describe the church. Some of them would be: The church is (like a) house The church is (like a) family The church is (like a) body The church is (like a) temple All of these are useful for helping us understand some nature or  function of the church, but none of them are terribly effective as a  comprehensive description of the reality of the church: The church is not a house The church is not a family The church is not a body The church is not a temple The church is the church. It is completely different than any other  organism/organization known to man. It is a spiritually-joined,  mis

I Shall Have My Revenge

I shall have my revenge I'm not sure I have the quote exactly right, but in the movie Gladiator , Russell Crowe's character says something to the effect of, "I am husband to a murdered wife, father to a murdered son and I shall have my revenge in this life or the next. " I am typically not a big fan of vengeance. It's not usually a wise course of action. However, yesterday this quote came to mind while I was delivering some money to a friend (wisdom side note: never loan money to a friend. Give it to them. If they pay you back, you still have your money but if they don't you still ave your friend ). I thought to myself, "the person who is giving this gift isn't expecting to be paid back, but they will be… In this life or the next. In This Life or the Next Sometimes we live as if we only believe in this life. We make no provisions or plans for the next life. Sometimes we are so focused on taking care of ourselves

How I'm Going To End the Creation - Evolution Debate

You may or may not be aware that coffee has a very quick “mold-creation” rate.  If you leave a cup of coffee sitting out for too long, it will quickly begin to develop mold spores.  In fact, I would imagine, that in just a week or two a mug of coffee would develop a bog-like surface if left alone. Therefore. I’m placing a full mug of coffee in a secluded room where it will be undisturbed.  I’m also leaving instructions in my will that in 100 years, my grandchildren are to go into that room and document the lives of all the mold creatures that have come to life. That’ll show those silly creationists.