Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. Mark 10:44-45
Seeing people as a means to an end sounds just awful, doesn’t it? A few things have happened in the last few weeks that have made me wonder how many of my relationships are good and solid, containing loyalty and truth and how many are just a case of me being the means to an end for someone else.
As usual this led me to examine my own heart. Who are the people in my life that I see as a means to an end. I was feeling okay about it; admittedly there are a couple of people who seem to serve more of a purpose than with whom I have an actual relationship. I prayed about that and asked God to help to know what I might need to do in response to that information. His response startled me.
First I was clearly reminded of the days, thankfully many, many years ago when I saw Jesus simply as a means to an end. That led me to pray with great thanksgiving for the change in my attitude toward God. Feeling much better I decided to move on in my chat with the Lord but He had other plans.
I was led to a few verses on service and grace and then the light dawned. Everyone, every single person in my life is a means to an end. The difference now, as opposed to my years of total self-serving, is this, now the end is to serve and the people God allows to be part of my life are all opportunities for service.
To see someone as your entrée into a social setting or as the person who will always foot the bill, always listen to your complaints and always tell you you’re right, is wrong. It’s a heinous way to view another person. To see someone as an opportunity to serve God is a blessing.
Just about every day I have an opportunity to do something for my husband. Often I have opportunities to bless my children, grandchildren, friends and co-workers. Occasionally I am blessed to be given the chance to serve a stranger, to perhaps entertain an angel. (Hebrews 13:2) Those are the best days.
In all of this I tried to see where I was serving without benefit to myself. Well, bad news, that never happens. Every time I serve I bring honor to God’s name, which brings me joy. In the end I have learned, am still learning, the truth of the words, God is never outdone in generosity.