But Yeshua called them to him and said to them, “You know that among the Goyim, those who are supposed to rule them become tyrants, and their superiors become dictators. But among you, it must not be like that! On the contrary, whoever among you wants to be a leader must be your servant; and whoever wants to be first among you must become everyone’s slave! For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve — and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
~ Mark 10:42-45 ~
… When I think of the Savior, I often picture Him with hands outstretched, reaching out to comfort, heal, bless, and love. And He always talked with, never down to, people. He loved the humble and the meek and walked among them, ministering to them and offering hope and salvation. That is what He did during His mortal life; it is what He would be doing if He were living among us today; and it is what we should be doing as His disciples … On this beautiful Easter morning, our thoughts and hearts are drawn to Him—the Hope of Israel and the Light of the World. As we emulate His perfect example, our hands can become His hands; our eyes, His eyes; our heart, His heart.
~ Dieter F. Uchtdorf – “You are my Hands” – April General Conference 2010 ~
I always considered myself a leader. Always finding frustration and disappointment when I failed to be promoted to a supervisory role. Always felt passed over. However, my discovery is this: When I have the mind of Christ, it comes with a frame of mind toward service. The very last verse is quite significant. “For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve – and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Christ served through a capacity of love, kindness, empathy, and compassion. This is what His Kingdom is all about – sacrifice and service, giving and sharing, considerate of the needs of others at least equal to, if not greater than, the needs of ourselves.
It is a pleasant thought is it not? But it is a difficult process. How come? I believe that each one of us are used to thinking of our talents and gifts in terms of what they can accomplish for us. Deep down inside, I want to get ahead. I am driven with an ambition to accomplish something, and sin appears to have distorted such desires toward self-serving. I wanted to build myself up in order to make a name for myself. This desire comes with wanting to have an impressive reputation and the praise of those who will recognize it. Such a drive does not naturally lead me toward service.
Jesus never asked me to do what comes naturally. The mind he cultivates within me will have nothing to do with self-serving accomplishments. It will have drive and ambition, to be sure, but not in the direction I once pursued. No, I may be consumed with a vision for a heavenly unity, and will realize that the only way to have it is to serve others. I come to a place to where my reputation is no greater than another person’s reputation and dignity. And I will not care for my own reputation nearly as much as I desire to care for the reputation of God’s kingdom. Service through Jesus Christ means we are making a name for His Kingdom and His Glory alone. One borne out of sacrifice and humility on my part.
Our Savior clothed himself with a mortal body and served people that were marginalized, castaways of society. They were deemed sinful, repugnant, and a burden. Some were sinners as much as you and I are sinners. Yet each one of us are able to learn from the Saviors example. Not only able but a must based on His command where there are unexpected promises. This service is greatness in God’s Kingdom. As surely as self-interests drives us away from Him and others, self-sacrifice draws us in. Our gits and our talents become useful tools for the benefit of others.
Reflecting on this spiritual truth of sacrifice and service for God’s Kingdom I am reminded of King Benjamin’s words: And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn wisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God (Mosiah 2:17). That I may learn wisdom through serving others as Christ served those whom he taught, walked with, healed, loved, and cared for. Becoming perfect comes by Godly wisdom, humility of heart, mind, and soul, and sacrifice to serve others. This is what our Savior taught through His own actions. It is what I have come to learn that I must be committed to in my own spiritual and mindful way of living. To lead I first must gain wisdom through serving.
How does being of service help you strengthen your faith and testimony in Jesus Christ? What opportunities are there for you to serve within your home, workplace, church, community? Are you still seeking self-serving ways to gain a good reputation and accolades as a means to be considered a “leader” in your life?
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