We Are Christ's Servants
Notes from the pastor
It’s so hard to keep from doing it. But it’s so easy to fall into it. After all, it seems to be a favorite pastime of people in our society – inside and outside of the church. Yet, as I reflect on it, I can’t help but think that it’s one of the things that causes the most conflict amongst people, and brings frustration to the people who engage in it. What am I talking about? I’m talking about the tendency many of us have of trying to control the behavior of another person.
I’ve rarely been successful in such an endeavor myself. And trying to control another person can be quite frustrating. I’m not sure why I ever thought I could do such a thing in the first place. Maybe it’s an inflated sense of my own importance. That reminds me of a saying that’s attributed to Will Rogers that can offer a word of advice to me, couched in a bit of humor: “If you get to thinking you're a person of some influence, just try ordering someone else's dog around.” Ouch!
My point is this: From a spiritual standpoint I do much better when I focus on the state of my own heart (which, of course, guides my mind, my speech, and my deeds). I do much better as a disciple when I ask the Holy Spirit to bring into the light any places where I am doing well as a disciple, and the places where I need to change and grow. When I engage in this spiritual self-examination exercise, I find that there is so much work that I have left to do on myself! And if I am focused on becoming the person – the disciple – that Christ calls me to be, how will I possibly have time to manage someone else’s behavior and thinking?
Paul offers in Romans, “[Why] do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat…. So then each of us will give an account of himself [herself] to God.” (Romans 14:10, 12) Sounds to me like he’s saying I won’t be answering for someone else before Christ. I’ll have to give an account of my own behavior.
It makes sense. I am a servant of Christ, and it is to him that I am accountable, first and foremost. As Paul reminds me of that truth, he reminds me that other people are Christ’s servants, not mine. Romans 14:4 says, “Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls.” In other words, it is Christ’s responsibility to judge his own servants, not mine.
What a relief! It’s exhausting trying to manage everybody else’s behavior… to my satisfaction. How freeing it is to realize that I don’t have to do that. And what a word of hope it is that the one who has the right to judge me is the same one who chose to die for me! Thanks be to God! 


Pastor Ross
Last Published: September 24, 2019 9:21 AM
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