I think a pinnacle goal of Christianity is to one day hear the words, “well done my good and faithful servant.” But do we truly understand that statement? The word here is servant; not “my child”, not “my creation” or any of the other words used to describe us in the Bible. No, the word is servant. A word that, used in our modern society is considered rude, oppressive, and vulgar, will at the end of our days decide our eternal fate. You will not be judged on how good you were, not on how honest or how kind, you will be judged on how you served others. How did you live your life in the service of others?
The example we are given for our lives is Jesus. A man who from the moment of his conception was predetermined to die for others. A man whose life was created on earth for the sole purpose of saving us from the death of our sins. He served. Jesus had no selfish intentions when He carried His cross, he knew there was only pain ahead for Him but to Him it was worth it.
If Jesus is our example for a servants heart then I fall short, no not even short, I fall flat next to the precedence set before me. How then do we achieve this title of a good and faithful servant?
I believe there is a difference between a good servant, a faithful servant, and a good and faithful servant.
The good servant knows his duty and seeks after the approval of his master. He is given a clear task and sets out to complete that task to the best of his ability. A faithful servant is told to do something he does not understand the purpose of but does it anyway. He does not see the end product and cannot envision the goal but he diligently works at his task and seeks further understanding.
A good and faithful servant must be both. I can honestly say I find it difficult to complete tasks for Christ with both good and faithful intentions.
Why is service so difficult to swallow in our culture today? I believe it is because we are, at our core, a culture who seeks to serve ourselves. We revolt against tasks that we do not gain from. We fight against taking orders from anyone but ourselves. We live with the constant goal of seeking our own happiness. To be a servant we must be in the world but not of it. We must take orders and follow them even when we do not gain from them, even when they are difficult, dirty and painful. We must die to ourselves and live for others.
So what does all this mean for me?
Well as a mother I can tell you there is the obvious explanation for how I am serving. I am raising two very high energy babies who are 12 months apart in age.
My children bring so much joy into my life but they also bring struggle. My babies can be difficult, time consuming and draining. Having a five month old and a 17 month old is no easy task. I simultaneously am dealing with sleep training one and teething with the other. They don’t have the same nap schedule, feeding schedule or sleep schedule. Breaks from my kids are rare but I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have never been required to be so selfless in my life and I have also never been so fulfilled. A life of service is not condemning it is enriching. I am not suffering or suppressed, I am loved and needed.
As a good servant my duty is to raise my children to love and fear Christ. To be a loving mother and to keep them safe. My faithful duty is to believe that God has a plan for them here on earth, that they will be protected and guided. I need to be watchful for signs and ways that I can help them towards their own callings in life. As a good and faithful mother I hope to get to heaven and be told that I did well. To look down and see God fearing children who know they are loved and are actively seeking the kingdom of Christ. I hope I can look back and see the good and faithful servants I have raised raising good and faithful servants of their own. Please do not assume that I have it all together. Like I said above, I fall flat against the standards set by Jesus. We all struggle daily to try to be like Him. I will not be able to stand before God with any semblance of a perfect track record. However, I know that my God is full of grace and compassion. I know he will look into my heart and see that I put in the effort to become who I should be. Even though I never achieved it, I struggled after that goal. Put in the work to be the servant God calls you to be but know that there is grace and love waiting for you at the end of your days. Being a mother also gives you a glimpse at the heart of God. I want the best for my children. I want to protect them from the consequences of bad decisions, but I will always love my children no matter what they do or say. I will wait with open arms any time they come seeking me. God loves you with the most perfect love. He wants a life of service from you and He knows it will be hard. When you do struggle He will always be there to help you when you call on Him.
What service has God called you to? Are you a good servant, a faithful servant or both?