“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”— John 13:34, NIV
As human beings, we are not designed to go through life alone. We are called to love and care about one another. When we live out this calling, we also serve others. Serving others can look different depending on the situation, but no matter the circumstance it is important to be committed to having a servant’s heart.
A Servant of Christ
“This, then, is how you ought to regard us: as servants of Christ and as those entrusted with the mysteries God has revealed.” — 1 Corinthians 4:1, NIV
Before anything else, we are servants of Christ. As Christians, our top priority should be Jesus Christ. Without him, we have no future hope and are lost in our sin. Our lives are no longer our own, but his.
Love and Service With God's Grace
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” — Galatians 5:13, NIV
As servants of Christ, that means we should desire to serve and love others. We will not automatically have a servant’s heart, after all it takes sacrifice. However, when we rely on God’s strength and not our own, we can find ourselves maturing. It may take time and effort, but it is a worthy endeavor.
There are so many ways we can serve others depending on where we are in life and those who are around us. Here are a few ways to serve others:
- Volunteering time: Time is valuable and giving our time can truly show love to others. Whether it is volunteering at a local shelter or signing up to help out at a church event, our time can make a big difference in the lives of others.
- Donating resources: For those of us who are able, donating resources also shows self-sacrificial love. Perhaps it’s money donated to an organization or charity or food given to a food bank or any other variety of donations.
- Looking for needs: Serving others can also mean looking out for their needs. Perhaps, a neighbor needs help with yard work or a classmate’s car broke down and they need a ride. We can serve others through little acts of kindness if we are looking out for their needs.
- Prayer: It is important we never underestimate the power of prayer. No matter what someone is going through, whether it be grief or celebration, we can pray for them and their needs.
The Ultimate Example of a Servant’s Heart
“In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death — even death on a cross!” — Philippians 2:5-8, NIV
In the gospels, we see a true example of a servant, Jesus Christ. He did not expect the royal treatment and make those around him cater to his wishes. Rather, he served those around him. Here are some ways Jesus served others:
- Washing his disciples’ feet: In complete transparency, feet are usually not the most pleasant thing in the world. They can be sweaty, dirty and smelly at times. However, Jesus was not phased by this and still washed his disciples’ feet (John 13:1-17).
- Feeding crowds of people: On not just one but two recorded occasions, Jesus fed large crowds of people numbering in the thousands. There was no requirement for this or a sign saying, “free lunch included” that obligated him to feed the people; rather it came from seeing a need and fulfilling it.
- Healing afflictions: Jesus saw the sick and hurting. He did not see them as broken and move on with his day as other people may have. Instead, he took the time to heal those who needed something only he could give.
- Giving a message of hope: Jesus taught people and gave a message of hope, salvation and love.
- Being crucified for sin that was not his own: Dying on a cross was a cruel and slow death. Jesus was a perfect human being — the only one. Yet, he chose to mend the relationship between sinful human beings and a just almighty God with his death upon a cross.
Each moment we can chose to embrace having a servant’s heart. Do you want to live like Jesus and follow his example of true love and sacrifice?
Approved by the Local Outreach Ministry Coordinator of the Office of Spiritual Life on Nov. 1, 2022.
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.