I thought I’d outgrown that kind of pettiness.
But there I was on weary feet, in a sticky kitchen, mind swirling through the two hundred tasks I’d checked off my list and the dozens of to-do’s yet undone.
And self-pity whispered innocent little questions like, “What am I — the household servant?” and “Why are people not falling all over themselves in gratitude around here?”
Earlier in the day, my motivation had been good…
- I expended extra energy to bless a friend.
- I provide wholesome entertainment for the kids by dismantling our leaky pool and assembling a new one.
- I took my special needs son on a long-anticipated excursion, weathering his seizure and nasty fall along the way.
- I cooked dinner, gave a haircut, ironed church clothes, and…, and…, and…
But somewhere in the middle of great intentions, I allowed pettiness and immaturity to sneak into my heart.
Ummm, applause, anyone? A pat on the back?
Do any of you realize I’ve set my own important projects aside to serve you all?
God greeted me and my endearing attitude the next morning with John 13:3-5:
Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power, and that he had come from God and was returning to God; so he got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.
Jesus knew who he was and the importance of his calling SO he took the towel and basin and washed the disciples’ feet?
Shouldn’t it read “Jesus knew that the Father had put all things under his power… so he asked one of the disciples to be the servant and wash everyone’s feet?”
If anyone had “more important” things to do, it was Jesus. His calling, who he was, everything about him should have disqualified him from the role of servant.
But no, he “did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mark 10:45).
Me? I’m just like the disciples, hoping to pawn the dirty jobs off on someone a little further down the ladder. And if I’m forced to do it because no one else will, you’d better believe I want a little recognition.
But Jesus is so breathtakingly different. Everything about him is astounding.
He is the Creator, the King of Kings, and yet he stooped to wash filthy, smelly feet.
He stooped under the whip… under the weight of the cross… under the burden of my sin.
He humbled himself.
He knew his identity in his Father, and knew that serving didn’t change his standing… serving pleased his Father.
Oh, what a challenge to my warped perspective.
Serving isn’t about doing something “important.” It’s not about glamor, recognition, novelty, or gratitude. It’s just following the example of the One who served me. It’s an opportunity to offer myself as a living sacrifice.
Serving isn’t beneath me; it’s a privilege.
And even though I’m the one who belongs in the role of foot-washer… who merits nothing… my dazzling Savior sees my service and promises to reward it. Every unrecognized act of love, every sacrifice, every gesture of humility is applauded by him.
Unbelieveable. And so empowering.
Thank you, Jesus, that you came to serve and redeem my sinful heart. Please enable me to serve my family, friends, and even the unlovely through your grace. Thank you for the privilege of being one of your household servants.
*Can you relate, friend? How do you fight the temptation to grumble as you serve your husband and family? Maybe you have a go-to verse? Let’s help each other out — share!!
Blessings and grace to you as you continue serving,