Reading in Luke 17 today, I got blindsided by a portion of what Jesus said & have been thinking about it much of the day. I believe with all my heart we need Biblical CPR! That is: when you take God’s Commands + God’s Principles = you always get what’s Right.
When I read a passage, I always ask 6 key questions which helps me apply it personally. I also look for God’s Commands or a Principle I can extract from something taught in God’s Word.
In Luke 17:7-10, Jesus is talking about our relationship to God as His servants. One phrase most of us would struggle with is “we are unworthy servants.” The word used for “unworthy” isn’t found in the NT very much and basically means: without merit, unworthy or unprofitable. I believe it carries the idea of absolute humility. As one commentator says: “A servant does not get special praise from his master for doing his job.”
Ok – now for the principle that came to my mind. Is it right or wrong? I’d love to hear your thoughts. This passage is written specifically about the relationship between followers/disciples of Christ and their master Jesus/God. However, do you think the same prinipcle applies elsewhere: like on a church staff or in a business setting?
I am a firm believer and advocate of servant leadership. I do not always practice it like I should, but I’m trying to learn to lead (and serve) those I’m leading as Jesus did. In light of this, I’m not advocating a dictatorship style of leadership. However, having been on a church staff for years before becoming a Lead Pastor – I also see the value in doing what I was expected to do without expecting special treatment or praise.
I’m concerned that we’ve experienced a shift in attitude today among followers of Christ. We’re not nearly as focused on having the attitude of Christ (Phil. 2:5) as we are on getting special treatment or praise when all we’ve done is what we’ve been called to do or agreed to do when we signed on. Does the idea of “doing all things as unto Christ” include serving those who lead you and being content knowing that you’ve just done what was expected instead of developing an attitude that says I’m entitled to better treatment.
Just some thoughts – haven’t landed squarely on this yet, but it’s a great exercise to ponder the Word of God!
Oh – by the way – here’s the passage I’ve been thinking about off and on throughout the day.
Luke 17:7-10 7 “Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.'”
When one starts to wondering am I deserving of better treatment, more praise, more attention, then it is time to spend quality time asking G_d, praying to G_d, seeking G_d just to be with Him. When a Christ-like person is wondering, concerned about the attention, they, I believe, have taken their eyes, mind and heart off of serving G_d, our Heavenly Father. A time out is needed for building back the proper relationship, which prayerfully will be more focused on Jesus, and less on wondering, .
I love the way Rick Warren begins his book , “It’s not about you.” When we keep our eyes focused on Jesus and doing what He calls us to do the praise of man is immaterial and almost embarrassing. The challenge is always keeping our focus on the Lord.