The Heart of a Servant

“Don’t just do what you have to do to get by, but work heartily, as Christ’s servants doing what God wants you to do. And work with a smile on your face, always keeping in mind that no matter who happens to be giving the orders, you’re really serving God.”–Ephesians 6:6 (The Message)

The heart is the very seat of our soul, our emotions, and our passions. It is the very essence of our being and that which drives our thoughts and our motives. Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep your heart with all vigilance, for from it flow the springs of life. It is no wonder God tells us to guard our hearts.

The heart of a leader is the foundation of their lives. It is what drives their passion for the Lord and their passion for service in the kingdom. No doubt most of us feel called to lead in a deep way from the bottom of our hearts.

And yet, with seemingly little notice, out of our hearts can spew some of the most ungodly thoughts and attitudes – even amid ministry. As leaders sometimes we can get angry or frustrated and in the end, respond in a way that is far from being godly. I once worked with a pastor who disliked people who disagreed with him. When he saw them as a hindrance to whatever project or plan he wanted to see happen, he took it personally. Sadly, sometimes things would come out of his mouth that was offensive and shocking.

Now I do not think any of us are immune to having these kinds of attitudes and frustrations. I go through it at times. Sometimes I will hear something or read something and then I will get my back up and think about a rebuttal or a way to get my way. In a sense, it is natural that when people disagree, we can take offence to it. Sometimes our anger may seem justified and righteous, but if it is expressed in a way that puts another person down, it is not the best.

It may be sinful and we need to guard against it. As well, we leaders must be constantly aware that the enemy will do everything he can to render us ineffective in service to our Lord. We need to remember too that the heart is hidden from others… so even if we look right on the outside, our hearts may be different.

The reality is, we all experience these kinds of frustrations. When those times come up where there is conflict or disagreement, how do we handle it? Do we conspire in our hearts? Do we lash out? Do we vent to others and gossip? When times like this come up in my life, I need to go back to the Word because there are verses in the Bible that are helpful:

  • (Psalm 51:10) “Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me”
  • (Psalm 86:11) “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name”
  • (Philemon 1:20b) “Refresh my heart in Christ”
  • (Ezekiel 36:26) “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh”

Servant, LeaderTo be a servant leader, sometimes we just need to keep in mind that we are servants first and leaders second. We must learn to model Christ-like servanthood in every situation. God has chosen us to lead. Not only must we be strong and do the work, but we must also be strong in our wholehearted devotion to Him and remember whom we are working for! He is in control of every situation. Colossians 3:23-24 says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving.”

Let me end with David’s words to his son Solomon: “And you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father and serve him with a whole heart and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek him, he will be found by you, but if you forsake him, he will cast you off forever. Be careful now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a house for the sanctuary; be strong and do it.”

God has placed a call on each of our lives to be a part of building His kingdom. Let us remember that building His kingdom and leading the church begins with having a right and humble heart with God.


Add a Comment