ODJ: A Humbled Servant

May 21, 2018 

READ: 1 Peter 5:1-11 

God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble (v.5).

For the past decade, I’ve served in East Africa and have gained far more understanding of my heart, motives and attitudes than I would have had I not taken the step of faith to live and work in a foreign land. Among the more humbling insights has been my occasional tendency to assume that my knowledge and resources are superior to those in the developing nation where I’m serving.

While there are principles and resources that are beneficial for me to pass along, when I allow a condescending spirit to overshadow the gospel, I’m displaying pride, not humility. According to 1 Peter 5, pride is in direct opposition to the servant posture God desires for us to take in our relationships with others (vv.5-6). As the apostle wrote, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble” (v.5).

Aware of my shortcomings, I’m drawn to Peter’s message to church elders that gives us a model for ministry built on grace. He begins by establishing common ground with the elders. He and they, he explains, are witnesses “to the sufferings of Christ” and “will share in his glory when he is revealed to the whole world” (v.1).

Leaders in ministry are called to lovingly oversee “the flock that God has entrusted to [them]” and to do so with a willing, not begrudging, attitude (v.2). When our motive is to eagerly serve God and others, we’ll be prepared to lead with a good example and be less inclined to “lord it over” (domineer over, act arrogantly towards) the people we’re called to walk alongside (v.3).

As we allow scriptural principles to influence our motives and guide our work, God can work in and through us to humbly, effectively serve others and honour Him (v.5).

—Roxanne Robbins

365-day plan: Ecclesiastes 12:1-14

Romans 12:16 gives three exhortations for relating to others. List them and ask the Lord how you can better live out these principles in your interactions. 
What’s so encouraging and empowering about serving with a servant leader? Why is humility vital in the words and actions we use with those we serve?