Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Serving Others with Humility

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"Bondservants be obedient to those who are your masters according to the flesh, with fear and trembling, sincerity of heart, as to Christ. Not with eye service, as men pleasers, but as bondservants of Christ, doing the will of God from the heart, with goodwill doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men" (Ephesians 6:5-7).

Sincere heart and humility can go hand in hand when it comes to serving others. God will bless that service and allow it to affect so many lives.

Serving others can be the most blessing time that we give from ourselves to help others. But if serving others has alterative motive, it can run us into the most dangerous outcome.

Our job as a servant is to follow God's plan and to proceed with caution, hence we fall into pride. Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ came on earth to serve, not to be served. Thus a true servant must be led by His example.

We have to learn to deny ourselves and preach the knowledge that we learned through the Holy Bible. We must also ask the Holy Spirit to lead us to what is most profitable to teach one another about our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

We need to remind ourselves constantly that we are human filled with many faults and we are not holy but only God is. This will help us to avoid falling and getting stuck into greatness and self-righteousness.

In reading the Holy Bible, we can identify some pearls by looking at the life of Gehazi, the servant of Elisha.

Gehazi was a young child when he became a servant of Elisha and he never complained about working under Elisha. He only was told what to do, never got acknowledged for his work. Instead Elisha got all the credit.

But there was something in Gehazi's heart growing secretly until it was finally exposed by God. He was not humble and meek as he appeared to be to others. On the contrary, he felt not acknowledged, not appreciated, not admired, and used.

So he grew resentful, full of greed and started lying in order to gain rewards:

"But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, 'Look, my master has spared Naaman this Syrian, while not receiving from his hands what he brought; but as the Lord lives, I will run after him and take something from him.' So Gehazi pursued Naaman. When Naaman saw him running after him, he got down from the chariot to meet him, and said, 'Is all well?' And he said, 'All is well. My master has sent me, saying, ‘Indeed, just now two young men of the sons of the prophets have come to me from the mountains of Ephraim. Please give them a talent of silver and two changes of garments.''" (2 Kings 5:20-22).

Now we can see that his greed and lies came to the surface and grew strong. Resentment can be result of many things such as not being rewarded or applauded by others or the need to be exalted.

In 2 Kings 5:25- 27, we see the dangerous outcome that resulted from lying and deceiving others:

"Now he went in and stood before his master. Elisha said to him, 'Where did you go, Gehazi?' And he said, 'Your servant did not go anywhere.' Then he said to him, 'Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.' And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow" (2 Kings 5:25- 27).

Horrible punishment, why?

Servants are much more accountable than other people because with their action can turn service to their advantage and can affect so many lives and lead them to stray.

"Now as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came. And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, 'You also were with Jesus of Nazareth.' But he denied it, saying, 'I neither know nor understand what you are saying.' And he went out on the porch, and a rooster crowed" (Mark 14:66-68).

St. Peter was one of the apostles who was sure of himself. He did not want Jesus Christ to wash his feet. Is it a sign of humbleness or an act of pride? He also declared that even if all are made to stumble, yet he would not because he believed he was willing to die for Jesus Christ but he ended up denying Him. Only when St. Peter realized what he had done, he went out and wept bitterly.

What can the servant do in order to protect himself from slipping away?

  • Search your motive behind serving.
  • Ask yourself if you are obedient and dedicated to God?
  • Search your heart regularly.
  • Pray and ask God to reveal to you any inquity.
  • Are you gentle with who you agreed to serve?
  • Work diligently on your spiritual maturity.
  • Are you willing to improve yourself and your services on regularly?
  • Ask others to observe your performance and give you feedback.

Remember that God is just and will never forget your work and love toward others. He will always reward those who are faithful to His word whither it be publicly or secretly.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

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