The Attitude of a Servant

                If you watch a lot of evangelists on television, I imagine quite a few of them are like Joel Osteen and they preach what I am going to call the prosperity gospel. For those of you unversed in this, the prosperity gospel says that God is waiting to bless you with material wealth; you just have to believe hard enough that He is going to give you this wealth, as well as donating to that certain minister who happens to be speaking at the time. While there are certain characters in the Bible, such as Job, who God blessed with material wealth and health, I think this line of thinking grossly misrepresents the character of God and the reasons behind what we as Christians do what we do. Christians are called to make disciples and serve where we may be needed. We are also told numerous times in the New Testament that the life of a Christian will be a hard one, and that we may be persecuted and outcast for our beliefs. While here in the United States we do not face much persecution for our faith for the most part, there are people in other places around the world who are put to death if they are public in their faith. What I would like to describe here is what we as Christians should strive to do in our everyday lives and why we should do as such.  
                If my title has already given it away, I will elaborate here. Christians are called to be servants not only to God, but to our fellow man. There are plenty of verses in the Bible that tell us to serve the Lord with everything we have, but we are also told to serve others (Galatians 5:13, Mark 10:45 for example).   In fact, Jesus himself took on the role of servant quite famously when he washed the disciples’ feet the night Judas would betray him to the hands of the Pharisees (John 13:1-17). So we are called to be disciples of Jesus, and following in his footsteps means taking on the role of a servant. Now I don’t think this needs to be literal and we have to bow and scrape for everyone else, but take the time to put other people’s needs ahead of your own so that they might see Christ living through you. Now for the why must we take on the role of a servant? As a simple answer, it is that we are called to love God and love others, which serving is an expression of that love. A lot of the time when I go out of my way to serve someone in my community, they are taken aback and ask why I am doing what I am doing. I can take advantage of that and introduce them to the gospel of Christ. For a lot of people, maybe more that you think, your act of servitude may be the only glimpse of Christ that they get in their lives. There is a saying that I have heard quite often, that the life you lead is a fifth gospel that might be the only one people will read. We need to follow in the footsteps of Christ in serving others so that we can reach the people around us. Hopefully this is enough of a reason for you to take on the servant role.
                So why does the prosperity gospel misrepresent this part of the Christian faith and the character of God? Well it tends to reduce the relationship that we are meant to have with God down to more of a business deal. We scratch God’s back and he scratches ours. This is supremely arrogant on our part as we put ourselves on the level of God. We must understand that we are His creation and that He reigns overall. God sent Jesus to die for us so that we may have fellowship with the creator of the universe, but he could have just as easily left us to wallow in our sin and ultimately perish away from his presence. What I am getting at here is that God is not just some tool that we use for our benefit; He is a person that we need to acknowledge as such. God is not an ATM machine, and honestly, I’m glad He’s not. From what is written in the Bible, I would rather live in poverty in this life and go on to live in His presence for the rest of eternity. Sorry Osteen and the rest of you, while you might have good intentions in your preaching, you have lost sight of the goal.
                This one may have been a little preachier than my usual fare, but since I have come back from helping with my church’s youth camp I have felt this weighing on my heart. If you are one of these people who are considering becoming a Christian because you think God will hand everything to you on a silver platter, I’m sorry to tell you that you have to look elsewhere. If you seriously want to get to know the Creator of our universe and ourselves, I would invite you to pray to Him and accept Christ as your savior from your sins and to repent from those sins.  I would hope that you have a good rest of your day and may God bless you in your endeavors.


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