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Words that Serve

January 25, 2015

big mouthThe follower of Jesus is to be characterized by humble service and humble speech. Self promoting behavior that strives to be the top of the heap is contrary to Christ. Self seeking, self elevating, self important speech is inconsistent with following Jesus. The behavior and actions of a child of God are those which are humble, serving others with word and deed. Those who arrogantly or carelessly discourage another from serving Jesus will not fail to be punished.

Jesus never views causing another to stray into sin as a light thing. Jesus warns it is far better to be cast into the sea than to trip up the least of His servants.  Far better to suffer the pain and difficulty of cutting off the pride and selfishness of the heart than continue in attitudes which are contrary to Christ! Far better to become the lowest, least noticed, least appreciated, least valued servant in the church than do anything which would lead another into sin.

Consider how Jesus identifies His servants. Jesus compares His followers to children. The servant of Jesus is also the child of God. A human parent would rightly be upset with one who mistreated his child. A human parent would be understandably angry if one misused her child to gain some trivial increase in importance or influence. How much more is God angered by those who mistreat His own for the sake of temporary and empty prestige?

The New Testament elsewhere declares that the least and the weakest are ones for whom Jesus died. He left heaven, lived a pauper’s life on earth and was put to death on the cross for them. The fellow church members, Jesus died for them. The one trivialized and politely scorned, Jesus died for him. The one ignored by all, Jesus died for her. The annoying one whom every one grumbles about, Jesus died for him. The one fussed at for not looking the way expected, Jesus died for him. When self becomes important, there will be no consideration of the effect of words and behaviors on others. Though a proud heart will not notice the results of it’s arrogance, God most certainly will. Put aside and serve one another! Be gracious to one another!

Cut off the pride that demands every Christian look and act like you do. Cut off the pride that thinks you should have positions of influence or importance. Cut off the pride that thinks it shouldn’t have to serve certain ones in this body. Cut off the pride that speaks hurtful, condemning words based on superficial judgments and personal preferences. Cut off the pride that views everything in light of your own feelings, thoughts and values. Instead, put on the grace that speaks encouraging words, helpful word, edifying words which produce peace.

The issue is humility, humble service and humble speech. Not only does God not fail to notice those who wrong His children, He does not fail to reward those who lovingly serve for Jesus’ sake. Humility serves because the humble heart does not imagine self to be better than it is. Humility does not imagine Christianity is about others meeting one’s own expectations. Humility does not have the mistaken notion that personal gain is the result of being a Christian. Humility amputates the infected flesh of the old man. Humility seeks the life of Christ. Humility puts on grace that seeks to serve others.

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