How can we grow in humility as God's servants?

(Carson Weitnauer) #1

Hi friends,

Sam Allberry recently quoted Andrew Wilson as saying this:

Jesus was a slave. So Christians are slaves of a slave. So a Christian leader is a slave of the slaves of a slave. Which makes pride tricky.

Questions for discussion:

  1. Do you see yourself as “a slave of the slaves of a slave”?
  2. What kind of attitude and behavior would be representative of a “slave of the slaves of a slave”?

(SeanO) #2

@CarsonWeitnauer I really struggle with this quote. Jesus was Master and King who came in the form of a servant, but today He reigns on high and will one day put all nations under His feet. He can relate to slaves, but He only spent a very brief time as a slave and then only by choice. He could have called down a legion of angels if He wanted to do so.

For me personally, it is much easier to orient myself in relation to Jesus Himself. Jesus set an example by washing the disciples’ feet, humbling Himself to the point of death on a cross and in pointing out in Luke that we are servants of God. Even after we have done all that we should, there is no room for a servant to boast.

Luke 17:10 - So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.

John 13:14 - Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.

So, in that sense, it is much easier for me to say with Paul that I am a ‘slave of Christ’ or ‘doulos’ and that I ought to imitate my Master. The idea of a ‘slave of the slaves of a slave’ simply does not capture the full picture for me.

(C Rhodes) #3

Perhaps for me, being a slave of a slave really equates to a submitted life. I can not define that truth by our World’s definition of slavery. The World’s definition is limited, and it is connected to the evil of the human heart. My understanding of slavery before GOD is not a position that diminishes me but actually fulfills me. I am persuaded it was that way for Jesus as well.

If I refused to receive my definition for living, from the limited and faulty parameters of this world, then I never suffer the evil of what the World implies or intends. It is the same for any condition in life. Prosperity, health, love, peace, joy, you name it. When defined by the mind of Christ, it has a totally different meaning. It is why it is possible to experience the evil of the human heart, and not emerge as hateful and as evil as the perpetrators. That is why we can wear this World like a loose garment.

I choose as Jesus did, to be a slave, for the slave who was a slave, for as Sean said; the slave is, in fact, the King. And I am a co-heir.

(Jamie Hobbs) #4

I share Sean’s struggle with this quote. Jesus said to love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength, and to love your neighbor as yourself. All things flow from there for the Christian. So instead of nesting the word slave as Wilson did to ward off pride, I see the Christian as a servant of God. That conveys it all to me. If I love God as I should, I will by extension love people as I should. If I love people as I should, pride is less of a factor in my life. So to the direct question, “how can we grow in humility as God’s servants?”, I think the more love we show as Christians the more humble it makes us. It helps keep the proper perspective between us and God.

I suppose the other way to grow in humility is to be prideful so that God humbles you, but I don’t recommend that path. It’s painful.

(SeanO) #5

@cer7 @Jamie_Hobbs @CarsonWeitnauer Saw this article on Christianity Today and thought it may be relevant. What are your guys’ thoughts on the author’s views rooted in the actions of St. Benedict? It is an interesting perspective. I included a few quotes that seemed to summarize his points well.

“Cultivating a life of faithful public engagement is hard, and simple solutions are unlikely to satisfy. But a full-orbed vision of humility offers a framework for holding together the biblical summons to use our power for others with an appreciation that our inadequacies run deeper than we know.”

“This is what makes Christian humility distinct from its counterfeits, which are in wide circulation both inside and outside the contemporary church. It refuses the ambition of self-assured political operators whose designs fail to take into account the frailty and fallenness of themselves and their institutions, but it equally condemns the easy resignation of those who seek refuge in the safe pursuit of personal holiness.”