FROM THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
UNPROFITABLE SERVANTS – 3
November 8, 2016
Today’s gospel: Luke 17:7-10
In today’s gospel, Jesus gives a very good definition of a servant leader. Remember that the term “servant leader” is an oxymoron, as the leader is highly placed and has power, while the servant is lowly placed and has no power. As such, the leader can be prone to sinful pride. What is the antidote? Yes, humility. But that is easily said but not lived out. The key is the posture Jesus tells servants to have. “When you have done all you have been commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants; we have done what we were obliged to do.’” (Lk 17:10).
When you have been obedient, hardworking (“plowing or tending sheep in the field”), responsible, faithful, even successful, look not to others to express concern (“Come here immediately and take your place at table”), gratitude (“Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?”), recognition, acclaim or even to offer rest (“Would he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for me to eat. Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink. You may eat and drink when I am finished’”). God of course is faithful and just and will accord all those to His good and faithful servants, but it is not to be your posture.
So such is your posture. You are a slave with no rights. You should consider yourself a useless servant. You know that you are in fact often the stumbling block to a greater work being done. You are not needed by the Lord but have been privileged to serve him. Now if these realities do not keep you humble, nothing will!
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