A Servant's Heart

Topic: A Servant’s Heart
Written By: Scott Kinnaird

Matthew 20:25-27 Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the 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 your slave.”

We humans are social animals and as such we cluster and organize. This naturally produces leaders and followers, and leaders usually acquire more status and power as they lead.

It’s also human nature for leaders to delegate tasks to their followers and become arrogant over time. All too often power goes to a leader’s head.

But, Jesus said he was on this earth to serve and whoever thinks they want to be a leader, must also be a servant. Jesus very clearly espoused servant leadership.

The founder of the modern Servant Leadership movement Robert K. Greenleaf wrote, “The servant-leader is servant first…that person is sharply different from one who is leader first. The best test is this: Do those served grow as persons…while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer…more likely themselves to become servants?”

The Chinese philosopher Lao-Tzu wrote, “…the highest type of ruler is one of whose existence the people are barely aware…self-effacing and scanty of words…when his task is accomplished and things have been completed, all the people say, we ourselves have achieved it!”

Whether it was advocated by an Asian sage born 500 years before Christ or a business consultant in the 1970s, servant leadership is not only a morally sound concept, it’s simply a more effective way to interact with people.

But, first it requires having the heart of a servant – a balanced form of selflessness (focus on others) while maintaining the confidence to keep people and things moving forward.

And, it’s not just for enlightened leaders of large organizations. You might be a young leader in your middle school classroom, a parent of a chaotic household or a respected influencer on a project team at your office.

Jesus was referring to all of us who, from time-to-time, find others looking to us for answers. During those moments of influence, we must perceive our place of leadership as nothing less than a perfect opportunity to serve others.

God, thank you for your Son’s guidance – the practical lessons he offered, which enable us to help others. Please remind me I can almost always reduce the size of my problems by first helping others solve theirs. Amen.

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