As followers of Jesus, we have multiple names. You can think of several right away, such as child, heir, follower, forgiven, disciple, and more. One of the names that see over and over in Scripture is “servant.” James 1:1 says, “James, a servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ…”. Of all the things he could have called himself that would have been correct, including the brother of Jesus, James refers to himself first and foremost as a SERVANT of Jesus. We would be wise to do the same. Jesus tells us that if we want to be great, we need to be a “servant of all.” It is both interesting and true that greatness and servanthood go together for followers of Jesus.
What does it mean to be a servant? Let this simple acrostic stir your thinking, and read through these scriptures as you prayerfully ask God to grow your servanthood: Galatians 5:22,23; Matthew 5:1-12; Philippians 2:1-11; I Corinthians 13.
S—elfless. I am not preoccupied with self but more focused on others’ needs.
E—mpathetic. I listen, I care, and I walk in other people’s shoes. I am compassionate and loving.
R—espectful. I treat other people with dignity and importance. In this way I bless others.
V—alidate. I show people that I value their opinions and viewpoints even if they are different than my own.
A—ppreciate. I seek to show kindness to others, encourage them, affirm them, and let them know they matter.
N—egate. I seek to eliminate and minimize hate, hurt, and demeaning conversation and activity.
T—eachable. I realize that I don’t know it all and I sincerely desire to learn from God and others.
Read the scriptures above again and create your own acrostic. More importantly, live like Jesus — who was the ultimate servant. Remember what Jesus said, “I did not come to be served but to serve.” So as we seek to follow Him, let us all realize that Christlikeness will always go down the path of servanthood.