Let’s be honest, when serving, it’s fun to be recognized, to be distinguished, even celebrated. There is nothing wrong with this, however, as a servant, if your purpose in serving is to be recognized, distinguished and celebrated then you have a heart attitude adjustment that needs to take place. When people celebrate you for an act of service, it is appropriate to humbly thank them, however, don’t purpose to serve in order to be celebrated.
Let’s take a look at the attitude that Jesus said that we should embrace. In Matthew 6, Jesus exposed the attitude of the heart of the Pharisees in their giving.
1 “Beware of practicing your righteousness before other people in order to be seen by them, for then you will have no reward from your Father who is in heaven.
2 “Thus, when you give to the needy, sound no trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may be praised by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 3 But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your giving may be in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The heart of this text really is not about giving. Jesus used this as an opportunity to address the heart of man. Indirectly, it asks, “Where is your focus, on God or on man“?
A Servant Must Embrace Humility
The flesh hates not being recognized. In fact, the flesh craves recognition and celebration. As a believer, recognize that the battle itself is not evil. Jesus himself was tempted by the Devil in the desert (see Matthew 4:1-11). The battlefield is found in the heart, and though the war for your soul will continue to your dying day, you already have what it takes to win. What do we already have? Choice. Will you submit your will to his will (see Luke 22:39-46)? Will you humble yourself?
The Incognito Servant
The code of the servant is to not let the right hand know what the left hand is doing. The true servant does not serve to get recognition, but rather, finds joy in having served without being found out. When the true servant is found out, a sense of embarrassment overwhelms the servant, because they were found out. The true servant embraces humility in the same way that Jesus embraced the cross (see John 19:17), and so should we (see Mark 8:34).
The benefit in not being found out, is that the Kingdom of God is vastly advanced. When you purpose to play ‘second fiddle’, so as to honor God, the Kingdom is advanced. When you serve for the purpose of being recognized and celebrated, you steal due honor that was to be his. The true servant will do all he can to advance the Kingdom, because he knows that it’s not about him, but instead, it’s about bringing honor and glory to the Father.
Purpose in your heart right now, to be humble in every act of service to others. Your act of service is an act of worship to the Father and when you serve with this heart attitude, it vastly advances the Kingdom of God.