TODAY’S SIGNATURE VERSE ••• For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. (Mark 10:45 ESV)
PRAISE & PRAYER PROMPT ••• Yesterday, we talked about the importance of following with humility. We all need to be good followers; because we can’t lead in every situation. But we are also called to be leaders — whether we lead a company, lead a team, lead a classroom, lead a household, or whatever the situation may be. So today, let’s wrap up our humility series with a discussion on leadership and humility. Better known as servant leadership. And best exemplified by Jesus Christ.
We all know the difference between self-serving leadership and servant leadership. A self-serving leader looks out for his/her own interests while a servant leader serves others. Self-serving leaders enjoy the sparkle of glory, power, honor, and prestige that may accompany leadership. However, servant leaders are generous sharers who enjoy celebrating the success of others. Servant leaders look to elevate others while a self-serving leader wants to rule over others. Self-serving leaders operate under the motto, “The beatings won’t stop until the morale is up,” while servant leaders seek to rally, encourage, and inspire. The two styles of leadership are rarely confused.
The disciples James and John recognized Jesus’ authority and accepted Him as the Messiah. But didn’t have a full understanding of servant leadership. They asked to be seated at the right and left of Jesus — the positions of honor in the hopes that they would share in His glory. The other disciples were livid — probably not by the question, but more than likely because James and John beat the rest of them to the punch. After all, these are the 12 guys who once had a debate about which of them was the greatest (Luke 9:46). An argument over which I’m convinced that Jesus mentally face-palmed Himself.
Let’s go to Mark 10:42-45 to read Jesus’ words to the disciples. These verses say, “And Jesus called them to him and said to them, ‘You know that those who are considered rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. But it shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant,and whoever would be first among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
And Jesus didn’t just speak these words. He exemplified them. Examples of His servant leadership include being patient and kind to those who asked Him questions… He didn’t seek to elevate Himself but brought Himself low in order to be with others. He cared about others and their needs. He gave others their dignity and recognized their value. And in perhaps His most famous act of servant leadership (besides the cross), He wasn’t beyond getting down on His hands and knees and accepting the worst task — washing the feet of others, including the feet of Judas Iscariot, knowing Judas was about to betray Him.
Jesus lowered Himself from His rightful throne of divinity to be a perfect human in a fallen and sinful world so we could be saved. In the ultimate act of servant leadership, Jesus willingly bore our shame and put our own desperate need above His own well-being, and even His own life.
Humility is the lifeblood that runs all through such an action. It’s exactly the quote that started this whole series — “Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. It’s thinking of yourself less” (C.S. Lewis).
We have the best example of servant leadership lived out. And no matter what our leadership role looks like, let’s wrap up with a verse from 1 Peter. This passage is directed more to church leaders, but for the Mom who reads Bible stories to her kids or the Dad who bows down to pray bedtime prayers — this applies too. We don’t all have to be ministers to be effective church leaders. And Peter wrote, “shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock” (1 Peter 5:2-3).
Today, as you pray, thank Jesus for His servant leadership and the example He gave us. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you lead with a spirit of self-less humility that seeks to think of others more. Ask Him to guide you as a leader and help you to not only lead well but lead by example.
SHARING ••• My Grace-Full Life is written by Denise Heidel. You are welcome to share anything I write, but please credit my writing and graphics accordingly. Visit www.MyGraceFullLife.com to read past blogs. Subscribe through my website to have My Grace-Full Life delivered to your email. You can unsubscribe at any time. Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture references are from the ESV translation.