On Being a Servant

“Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee, turn not thou away.” Matthew 5:4242Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away. (Matthew 5:42)
“I shall most gladly spend and be utterly spent for your souls.” 2 Corinthians 12:15 JND
I’ve wondered if one of the reasons the Lord gives us children (who are dependent and helpless when they are born) is to reveal to us how much we put ourselves first in our own lives. When our children are small their demands are immediate — whether it be a wet diaper, food, or sleep — and those needs come before our own. I never knew how selfish I was until I had children. Of course, we are obliged to train our children so that they soon realize the world does not revolve around them. If we fail to do so, we soon find out that we are raising selfish tyrants!
Our role is similar to servants in the kingdom. When I take the low place and become a servant, I can take no offense. “To spend” refers to what we willingly do of our own accord; “to be spent” happens when others take advantage of us. When I expect to spend and be utterly spent, I can’t feel as if people are taking advantage of me. If I give myself wholly to others in the Lord’s service and don’t expect anything in return, I will not be disappointed when I receive no thanks or acknowledgment for what I’ve done.
We are not in this world for ourselves nor for our own gain, except for the training that brings future blessing. More and more I’m realizing how selfish I really am.
The challenge is to balance that with raising and training children! As a servant you would do everything for them, but that would be a disservice to them. They also need to learn to serve others. We go through life being a servant of the Lord and others with our children right by our side. We give them responsibilities around the house not because we do not want to serve them, but because they also need to learn to be servants.