Upside Down Service

GodReflection: Power Word Wednesday

“I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” – Jesus

garyguarujaMy culture taught—and continues to teach—me the joy of being served.

It’s a lesson I learned all too well. I got in on the time when gasoline was purchases at service stations rather than in front of box stores.

Passages and celebration were often at banquet halls where I was dressed to the nines along with the other guests in anticipation of extraordinary service throughout the evening.

serve2High on my list of expectation when I go to a restaurant is service. I expect good food from the kitchen and good service from the wait staff.

Air travel and hotel accommodations receive my mark of approval or disapproval based on service.

I find that I can overlook an inferior product from a merchant much easier than I can overlook poor service.

With service—directed at me—far too high on my expectation list from decades of acculturation how do I turn the table upside down to reflect the generous service of Jesus? He came to serve people and to teach me to do likewise.

By Jesus’ service to people he rendered service to God. That looks to me like his hope for me is to follow his example as I hear him say. “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you”

jesusgod6One thing is for sure. I need to start with recognition of the Holy that is embedded in every person that crosses by path.

To this day I remember a lesson I was taught over four decades ago. However, I find that I didn’t fully apply its application across all spectrums of my walk.

After an ambush by a church leader that cost me my job at my local congregation my thoughts weren’t exactly focused in God’s direction.

A dear friend wrote me a four-page single spaced letter that filled all four margins.

The heart of the letter was to remind me—to teach me for the first time—that people are to be served through the lens of God. That one lesson places disappointment with people in proper perspective.

So, I was told to read and remember the teaching in Colossians chapter three:

serve12Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.

Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.

Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.

Here I am years later still learning to grow in my servant identity.

It’s the identity claimed by Jesus and the role he placed me on earth to fulfill. It is only through service that others can see Jesus in my walk.

Maybe I should offer service rather than expect it, don’t you think?

Stay tuned.

Dr. Gary J. Sorrells – A GodReflection on Serve as a Power Word.

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