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January 11, 2009

Devotional Journey--Day 7



I'm just going to jump right in with and say this in response to today's reading, "The Heart of a Servant Leader": I'm a gung-ho, work-hard, give-it-all-I-got kind of leader. But if I look at the state of my heart - as Jaye suggests we do - I'm not such a hot servant leader. More of a struggling servant leader.

This is not to say I don't "aim to please" - because I do, actually. But mostly that pleasing is less about serving than it is making people like me - or think better of me. God included.

So, one of today's questions asks, "What non-servant heart attitudes do you need to confess?" For me, it's really that in my leadership I focus more on my abilities and results and on what people think of my efforts than the people I lead and the One whom I serve. And that's not right.

One of the ways I'm going to try and change that is by resting on this Sabbath, by taking a day away from tasks and accomplishments. So I'm cutting this a bit short.

But how about you? Any non-servant heart attitudes you need to confess?

Comments

This message is perfect for me. It is exactly where I am and I do want to move into a "servant's heart" rather than the focus being on my leadership style and accomplishments. I am beginning a 6 week Parenting YOur Teenager class at church. I need to be covered with prayer, so thank you in advance and secondly, I too, felt the need to be quiet before the Lord today. (Sun.) Thanks for the encouragement. Sara

Oh! Caryn, this one went right to the heart! How often I find myself crying, "Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me...," desperate for God to sweep away the pride that keeps me from being a true servant.

I work hard. I take pride in doing things well, but instead of rejoicing in the abilities God has given, I find myself comparing my "great job" to the efforts of others. I think I'm the only one who can do it "right." I become impatient with those I'm supposed to be leading.

Fortunately for me, God never loses his patience with me. His Spirit convicts me, His Word provides remedy, and repentence frees me to take the lead again...right behind my Savior.

I'm here with you. I think this is something everyone deals with. It's that "outside" vs "inside" issue--are the two meeting up? Is there integrity deep down? In the last couple weeks, I had a situation thrown at me that just rocked my internal boat. And when it did, the things that came floating to the service were painful reminders of how much I need Jesus' love to flow through me--cause I sure had nothing good to offer. I need to constantly be mindful of my servant role. I want this:

"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross!" (Phil 2:5-8)

After that, it's God who exalts His Servant. So forget leader; servant's what I'm after. When I serve, then I'll lead...like Christ.

When I work to please people, I get anxious, self-conscious and burnt out. When I seek to please the Lord, I work hard and am content.

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