Some time ago, I was asked to speak at a young adults fellowship meeting on a topic of my choice. For reasons unknown to me, I felt compelled to talk about the qualities of a Godly servant. Perhaps I felt that the attendees really needed to hear this topic. Or maybe, just maybe, it was rather due to selfish intentions, since I needed to heed my own words more than my audience did.
From a young age I was brought up to recognise that I was put on this earth to serve God. As disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ it was our duty, or rather honor, to serve our Master. You and I were created and chosen for a purpose and whether we know it or not, we are all servants in some form or another.
‘You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain…’ – (John 15:16)
For this very reason, we ought to examine what is required of us as servants of the Lord. Just as a disciple mimics the ways of his teacher, so too must we the servants learn the essential qualities of a servant from our Master. In my opinion, there are four essential qualities of a Godly servant that we must strive to develop:
1. A Godly Servant Loves.
In order to become loving servants, we need to be nourished by the love of God. A servant who has experienced the love of God cannot contain this love as it is given in abundance. His heart quickly fills with the Lord’s Love and pours out to those around him. Ultimately the servant becomes a vessel for the Lord, and outpours the Lord’s love onto others.
One can experience such love by reading the Holy Scriptures, praying, partaking of the sacraments and through fellowship. I have found it especially helpful to meditate on and study the Bible using commentaries from the early Church Fathers.
2. A Godly Servant Commits.
‘Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.’ – (1 Cor 15:58)
Commitment is without a doubt the hardest quality to uphold. We are instructed to be firmly loyal, unshakeable, and always increasing in the service for the sake of our Lord. St Paul exemplified these attributes and displayed great commitment in his own life, and God graced him with success and strength in his ministry.
3. A Godly Servant has Faith in God.
Sometimes we forget the power of whom we serve. We think we are toiling alone without any divine intervention, but this is far from the truth. We must recognise that all of the fruits of the service are not our own, we are simply sowers of the seed. It is God who provides the miracle of life to transform the lifeless seed into a fruit bearing tree.
‘Yes, to the servants of God, all things are possible; for if some, who are the servants of men, have, nevertheless, power, and authority, and the disposal of their concerns, much more have the servants of God.’-St John Chrysostom
4. A Godly Servant is Humble.
Humility is simply a life spent in the presence of God in which man realises his true worth. The desert fathers taught much about humility, labelling it as the first amongst all virtues. Our Lord Himself was the perfect model of humility; humbling Himself for the sake of our salvation. A Godly servant must therefore imitate the Lord in His humility. This can be achieved by placing the needs of others before our own, turning a blind eye to the failings of others, and by directing all the praise of men towards God, to whom all glory is due.
These four qualities are but a few of the qualities that a servant needs to develop and to continually strive for.
Question: What other qualities must we develop in order to become Godly servants? You can leave a comment below.
Note: this article is a rewrite of an article I wrote in June 2012 which can be accessed here.