Having A Servant’s Heart

“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honoured by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full.” -Matthew 6:2 (NIV)

Ulterior motives are hard to get around when we serve others out of our own benevolence. Our pride dictates that since we so graciously serve those around us, we are entitled to a bit of praise every now and then. But when we fail to get praise from others for our good works, our pride comes under attack and we become offended. Soon our service to others becomes not about contributing to the physical and spiritual betterment of the other person, but about making sure our egos continue to be inflated by the compliments that we hope to hear from people.

Such service becomes a corrupted effort in helping others. It’s true that people are helped by the kind acts that we do, but in the end, God will be looking at our hearts and not our outward actions. If we have served others only for the benefit of ourselves and our egos while only pretending to be truly concerned about the cause of Christ and those we have served, our works are like filthy rags to our Saviour. That is why Christ said that it is better to perform our good deeds in secret; away from the watching crowds, with God as our sole spectator, and away from being tempted by our own pride. But even doing our acts of kindness in secret can make us prideful and disparage others when they are in the limelight while serving others. May we not fall into this trap! Our goal in serving our fellow man is to bring glory to God and in bringing glory to God we must genuinely care about the needs of those we serve. Only with a God who is actively working in our hearts and breaking down the layers of pride that have been built around it, can we truly serve as He wants us to.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Meekness Equals Greatness

“Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.” –Matthew 5:5 (NIV)

It is an incredulous statement. How could the meek possibly lay claim to the world?  Our conditioning at the hands of our fallen environment has labeled meek people as incompetent and ultimately weak because of their perceived timidity and compliance. In our eyes, power and greatness seems to only come to those who are assertive, who have no qualms about using unethical means and “realpolitik” to eliminate their rivals and obstacles in order to get what they want.

Our flawed human understanding has a misinformed view on what being meek exactly implies. It means being humble as opposed to prideful, respectful as opposed to arrogant, patient as opposed to irritable, and merciful as opposed to unforgiving.  Human eyes may see these as qualities for the weak. But on the contrary, they are the true markers for strong leadership and greatness. The meek are assertive. By their stance, they assert themselves against the injustices and tyranny of those who lord their power over those who are under them. They refuse to accept that deception and heartless decision making must be treated as the principles which must form the basis of good governance and leadership. Often it is the case that the meek leaders are the ones which command the most love and respect. A leader who rises to the upper echelons of power through intrigue and bullying may be feared and wield extraordinary power, but they are rarely truly loved and respected. The leader who is adored is leader who serves the people, who empathize with them, and who truly cares for them and wants to see them advance out of despair and misery. This leader does not reach the height of power through underhanded means, but he reaches it with integrity knowing that he serves a far higher calling than personal glory. Christ Himself was and is the perfect example of what it means to be a meek leader. He served the people not to obtain glory for Himself, but knowing that everything He did was to be done unto the glory of His Heavenly father. When we work knowing that in our toil we are to serve Christ and His people, any sort of prideful ambition should dissipate from our minds. In our humility and service before God and before others, God will rewards us with greater responsibilities as long as we obey His call to be faithful to Him in our service. He will replace the arrogant with the meek knowing that those who have adopted a meekness that only Christ can give will be stewards that will breathe life into a world strangled by darkness and corruption. The proud will fall, but the meek will always endure.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.