Surveys tells us that Americans are more stressed than ever been before. It could be that the expectations we place on ourselves and others can be crippling. We don’t always make “the cut” in our relationships, careers, health, or happiness.
The mantra of the last presidential election struck a national chord: “to make America great again.” Politics aside, rising from rags to riches, is a motif that reaches further back than Rocky’s iconic shout out.
Beauty from ashes is God’s idea. It’s just that our cultural understanding about it is backwards.
Pastor Wayne shared on Sunday the perspective of two brothers named James and John who wanted to secure their place in the coming Kingdom through a seat of power. What they didn’t know was what we can easily forget as well. The Kingdom of God is counter-intuitive. What we think is great is actually the opposite in God’s eyes. Following our own plan is making us sick.
Jesus’ prescription for our anxiety about our place in life and the future is probably not what most of us would naturally think to do: be a servant. But there are a few unbeatable benefits that come with the attitude.
Being a servant Sets you above the competition.
No matter what you do, there will always be someone who is better than you. But because serving others has more to do with an attitude toward what you give others than what you get for yourself, competition is pretty low. Start cleaning up the mess yourself. See the person behind the wheel of the car that cut you off. Let her “win” the argument. Practice being happy for the guy who got what you wanted.
Being a servant Gives you a life of purpose.
There’s a reason The Purpose Driven life by Rick Warren is one of the most popular Christian books of all time. People want to know their lives have meaning. When we think about making an impact on the world, most of us think about important positions. Jesus, however, taught that just giving a child a cup of cold water merited a reward in His kingdom. God’s economy is different. It’s not begin “great” that makes you great. It’s being a servant. No matter where you are or what you do, there will always be an opportunity to serve the needs of someone else.
Being a servant helps you see the wealth you already have.
Our brain’s natural default is to focus on what we think we lack. You probably never thought about food so much as when you went on a restrictive diet. It’s called the scarcity mindset. Research shows that it can actually lower our I.Q. But there is a practice of focus that can counteract this way of thinking—focus on what you have by serving. Serving others means giving from your resources—whether it’s time, money, expertise, empathy, etc. When you serve—you give and when you give you know what you have.