When the ten heard about this, they became indignant with James and John. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:41-44
Jesus’ goal was not just that his disciples would obey his teachings. He came to teach them how to have the right heart.
And what was his heart? To serve.
How far we have to go to get there!
His service was pure and organic, not calculated. He just cared about others and found joy in giving.
Compared to this my heart is a complexity of mixed motives.
So today it’s good to remember to simplify, to do good deeds just for the sake of doing them. It’s good to be in the moment and love to serve without the distraction of any other agenda.
Consider these verses —
- Command those who are rich in this present world. . . to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. I Tim 6:18
- (A widow should be well known for) good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds. I Tim 5:10
- Then (the older women) can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God. Titus 2:5
- Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet.” John 13:14
These verses advocate acts that can seem mundane and ordinary. Yet it is obvious that doing them has great value to God.
Make it your goal to live a quiet life, minding your own affairs and working with your hands, just as we instructed you before. I Thes 4:11
“A quiet life? But I want to accomplish things!” my ambitious self insists.
And I’m all for accomplishing great things for God. I’m all for seeking and saving the lost, etc.
But I wonder if, as women, we need to give ourselves permission to live a more simple life.
And realize that great things ARE being accomplished, even in the mundane things, the housework, the homework, the child raising, the loving of our husbands.
God is being glorified. The power of that can never be underestimated. This is the purpose of our existence. “For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory.” Romans 11:36
God’s will is being furthered. I believe every good deed has a ripple effect, and as we perform good deeds they provide momentum, and a framework God can use in crafting His will.
Christ is being shaped in us. When we leave the bustle of our ambition and slow down, we experience gratification; we see infinite worth in each person, each deed. Everything comes together. We realize that THIS is who we ARE.
And then we are at peace, at least for a little while, feeling as one with the heart of Jesus.