Relaymedia

Being a Servant

( [email protected] ) Dec 10, 2007 04:34 AM EST

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written: "The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:1-7 NIV

It's really difficult to put up with some people, isn't it? Especially those who just don't seem to be making any progress with their lives. They just don't seem to be able to get it together, do they? You talk to them and counsel them and work with them for months, and still they're sitting right in the same spiritual rut they were in when you first began. It's really hard to keep your patience.

Now, re-read that paragraph as if you were Jesus and were looking at yourself. Sort of changes the picture, doesn't it? I have a needlepoint pillow - one that I made about 25 years ago - that says, "Please be patient. God hasn't finished with me yet." Every time I begin to lose patience with someone, I read that pillow and look at my own life. And I look at the example that my Lord sets for me - the example of the patient Servant.

Jesus was a continual illustration of what you and I are to be... servants. He came to serve us - with His life - and with His death on the cross. This Jesus - our Lord, our Master - the King of Kings and Lord of Lords - had infinite patience with the people around Him... and He has infinite patience with you and with me. The Son of God was not above washing the feet of His disciples. He was not above counseling others for hours, for days, for weeks, or for years. and most important of all, He was not above sacrificing His life for you and for me.

So, if you're one of the strong ones... a person whose life has truly been changed through the Lord ... remember who you are to emulate. Remember that He took on all burdens... every burden of mankind... Then, when you put them in perspective, your taking on the small burdens of those around you won't seem so difficult.

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up. For even Christ did not please himself. Romans 15:1-3a NIV