Excerpted FromStronger Together, Weaker ApartBy Tony Evans Service is the true path to unity. Mutual service opens the funnel of engagement with God because when we serve each other, he recognizes kingdom qualities and virtues in us. If we want to have a greater manifestation of God’s unity in our relationships, home, work, community and […]
Stronger Together, Weaker Apart
By Tony Evans
Service is the true path to unity. Mutual service opens the funnel of engagement with God because when we serve each other, he recognizes kingdom qualities and virtues in us. If we want to have a greater manifestation of God’s unity in our relationships, home, work, community and nation, then our thoughts, words and interactions must be characterized by a servant’s heart.
If we are to develop a servant’s heart, we must first discover what the word service means in a biblical context. To serve is to focus on others and act for their benefit in the name of Christ. Service begins with a humble attitude and involves actively looking out for the interests of others. You become a true servant when you come alongside others in unity and help them improve spiritually, physically, emotionally or circumstantially. You serve when your words or actions make someone else’s life better.
God calls us to a life of humility and service because these two things promote the bond of peace and unity, overpowering any disunified forces we may face. In order to live out God’s desire for us, we need to surrender our wants, schedules, and expectations to him so we can meet other people’s needs. In doing so, we will bring glory to God while strengthening our own spiritual walk and simultaneously encouraging unity in our spheres of influence.
God rewards service through his unifying presence among his followers. But he will also reward it in your personal life. Just as a waiter or waitress will receive a greater tip for excellent service, our Lord notices what you do for others. Your service will be rewarded here on earth or in heaven (Eph. 6:7–8; Col. 3:23–24).
So what does servanthood look like? The greatest story of servanthood, outside of the cross, is set in a roomful of men with dirty feet.
Shortly before Christ went to the cross, he gave us a living example of service.
“Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into
his hands, and that he had come forth from God and
was going back to God, got up from supper, and laid aside
his garments; and taking a towel, he girded himself.
“Then he poured water into the basin, and began to wash
the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with
which he was girded.” —John 13:3–5
Just as he had done throughout his earthly ministry, the Master became the slave. The Maker became the servant. Jesus donned a towel, grabbed a bucket, and washed the feet of those who, in just a few hours, would desert him. To his very last day on earth, Jesus passionately and compassionately pursued unity among those with whom he shared space. And he did this through a heart of service, grace and love.