Click Map for Details

Flag Counter

Saturday, May 10, 2014

Servanthood or Servility?

What is the greatest challenge for you related to being assertive? Specifically, how hard is it for you to follow Jesus' example in the following areas:
a. not dropping everything to answer the request of others
b. not feeling like I should be everywhere, meeting every need
c. not always giving in when there is a difference of opinion

(Serendipity Bible 10th Anniversary Edition, page 1509) 

A key challenge for Christians is to understand the difference between fulfilling a responsible and constructive servant role as opposed to yielding to a servile, cravenly submissive role.  There is no question that the Christian calling is to helpfully serve others.  At the same time, when we abjectly abdicate our personal responsibility and human dignity, we negate our ability to be truly useful to anyone.  For example, a dictator would love to have servile, cravenly submissive people around him.  An American President imbued with Christian ethic realizes that such yearning to turn his advisors into sycophants violates their dignity and personhood--in fact, would constitute the President's own commission of several deadly sins -among them sloth regarding his own responsibilities and egotistical hubris.  Even worse, he is asking his advisors to do the same with their complicit perversion of the true nature of service.

I have met people very strong in the characteristics listed in a, b, c above.  I admit,  sometimes I have judged them unchristian and imperial.  Certainly all three of the characteristics could accompany arrogance at its worst.  On the other hand, paradoxically it is undeniable that the characteristics listed are essential corollaries of humble Christian service.

Print Page