As I walk into my daughter’s bedroom, I pick up dirty laundry from the floor. I carry it to the bathroom chute and drop it in, then hang some towels and wipe up a toothpaste mess. I proceed into my son’s room for some straightening and then to my own. Downstairs, I empty 2 trashcans and a laundry basket and a suitcase from my husband’s business trip that week.
Thousands of times, I’ve picked up dirty laundry, straightened towels and emptied trash cans – virtually unseen.
Of course when I don’t do these things – everyone sees the overflowing trash can and overflowing laundry baskets and the overflow seems to whisper, “you are failing – you are not keeping up – the whole family can clearly see this.” and I get discouraged.
Elisabeth Elliot writes:
“All mothers are a quiet servant of necessity, doing the work no one would notice or thank her for – no one, that is, except Him to whom it could be offered as a daily sacrifice of love. “
We live well by dying well.
I’m reminded of Matthew 20:20-28.
The mother of the sons of Zebedee came to Jesus with her sons and asked Jesus for a favor.
Jesus said, “What is it that you want?”
She answered: “Grant that one of these two sons of mine may sit at your right and the other at your left in your kingdom.”
Uh Oh mama Zebedee – I sense a competitive spirit here.
And it does not sit well with the other disciples. Verse 24 tells us, when the other 10 disciples heard this, they were indignant! They wanted those seats of greatness too!
So Jesus calls them together and says:
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them.
It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
This mother was seeking greatness for her boys. Perhaps this was even self motivated because it would have made her look like a great mom.
Jesus says, this is what Gentiles seek after. Self promotion, high honors, and greatness in the eyes of others.
Then four times Jesus references service as the way to greatness in God’s kingdom.
Service is the way to greatness.
You won’t read that in the self-help, self-esteem, and Self magazines published these days.
Self. Self. Self.
It’s not about self!
It’s about service.
How many times have I welled up with bitterness when no one notices or says thank you…and then I read this and I see – I am right in the center of God’s will.
All that unseen work – all the trash can emptying, toothpaste wiping, dirty dish cleaning and laundry folding …all that unseen work…that is the way to greatness in God’s eyes.
A dying to self.
And Jesus is our ultimate example.
He did not come to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for US!
Jesus – came – to – die.
May we follow His example in our home, workplace, church, and community.
No more complaining about our workload. No more anger over not being thanked. No more bitterness about being unnoticed. No more self-pity. No more self-promoting.
God sees your workload. He notices. He values your hard work.
Let’s value what God values and call great what God calls great.
Walk with the King,
What have you been learning during your study of Matthew 16-20 this week?
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