Being a servant is an attitude before it is an act: “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus…” (Phil.2:5). True servant love cannot be faked. If you want to act like a servant, you must first think like a servant. Attitudes are not automatic, they don’t just happen, they are chosen. The acts of a servant are only needed occasionally, the attitude is needed continuously.
Being a servant is not about weakness, it’s about realising our true strength: “…although He existed in the form of God…” (Phil.2:6a). Existing in the form of God is hardly weakness. Jesus chose the role of a servant, and there is incredible power in that kind of love.
Being a servant is not about insecurity, but about security: “…did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped…” (Phil.2:6b). So secure in fact, that you can do whatever the Master asks. You have no one to impress, only to love the One who loved you and chose you. Nothing Christ had was so precious to Him that He would not just give it up if His Father asked. How about you?
Being a servant is not about being ‘taken’ advantage of, it’s about being given: “but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond--servant, and being made in the likeness…” (Phil.2:7). A loving willingness to give up your rights, privileges, time, agenda, the lot. No sacrifice is too great in order to be obedient. Often our problem is that we hold things too tightly, supposing that we know what we need better than our heavenly Father.
Being a servant is not taking care of my world, it’s about entering the world of those I seek to serve: “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself” (Phil.2:8a). I think it was C.S. Lewis who wrote, “Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less.” Christ condescended to us. Remember the words of John the Baptiser: “He must increase, I must decrease” (John 3:30).
Being a servant is not about being a doormat; it’s about being a living sacrifice: “…by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.” (Phil.2:8b). Doormats are not exciting, they just lie there and wait to be stepped on. A sacrifice is drastically different. It is willing, alive, and active. It’s always on the move, responding to where God desires us to be. Sacrifices accomplish something significant as God’s kingdom is advanced. Yes, you may get stepped on, but you become a stepping--stone to advance Christ!
Being a servant is not about pleasing the person you are serving, it’s about pleasing God: “Therefore also God highly exalted Him…to the glory of God the Father.” (Phil.2:9--11). Christ met our greatest need on the cross, but His motivation was obedience to His Father. You and I have been left on this earth to live for an audience of One – and that my friends is truly liberating!
No wonder Jesus said in Matthew 16:25 – “For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.”