The Heart of a Servant
“So I will very gladly spend for you everything I have and expend myself as well. If I love you more, will you love me less?” (2 Corinthians 12:15)
Have you ever given everything you had and your own well-being away to someone or something else? Did you love them more than they loved you? Did they love you less because of it?
By nature we’re ungrateful and self-centered humans. We don’t see the true cost of someone else’s time, their health, energy, finances, patience, or things. We understand it when we’re giving, but not when we’re receiving. Sometimes we’re too focused on our own needs and our appreciation falls far short of the gift given.
Selfishness can also be behind the giving, as some give because it’s really about making themselves feel better about themselves. Their self-satisfaction is their reward. They may appreciate the love they receive in return, or they may mourn the fact they are not appreciated enough, but they really do it for their own satisfaction. They are satisfied with themselves when they serve others.
When selfless love is behind the spending of oneself, it changes everything. The spending of self comes out of obedience and love for God, who helps us put to death the selfishness and gives us selflessness. The Apostle Paul in our opening verse doesn’t express any self-centered hurt, he simply tries to wake them up to their selfishness so they get back on track with God. He was always looking out for their good, despite their hurtful behavior. He knew that ultimately they were hurting their relationship with God.
Once he met Jesus, Paul’s life as a servant began in earnest. In obeying God, he came to meet church after church where he served with selfless love and sincere concern for them. God’s love changed his heart. God’s love, motivated his love. He traveled through countries loving and teaching and serving, being persecuted and abused, losing everything except his love for God and others.
If you’re struggling as a servant of God’s, I pray you will set aside time to renew your love with God. Ask Him to remove the selfishness that creeps in unexpectedly and focus on just Him. Because just as you don’t want what others have, but you want them secure with God, He doesn’t want what you have either, He just wants you.
by Jill Cristao, Director of Connections