We can all imagine how we might feel when our friends “call shotgun” – outwitted, taken advantage of, even indignant. You may resent those, who by means you see as unfair, obtain a place ‘above’ you – in social standing, in wealth, in authority. But such thinking reflects only our own ambition, our own desire for recognition, and our own thirst for power over others.
The more authority we have, the more wealth we have, the more achievement we attain – by the world’s standards – the more ambitious we must be if we purpose to retain our place. If this describes you – striving to stay on top, aspiring to be above others – I have a message for you: you’ve already lost.
Jesus teaches another way. He said, “Whoever wants to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all.” (Mark 10:43-44). Jesus says you will be great if you serve and you will be first if you are a slave. The more you serve, the greater you are!
We serve in many ways: are you a bookkeeper? A bricklayer? A CEO? A member of Congress? A police officer? No matter who we are, we are only great when we are serving – regardless of our capacity.
We can serve best when we act out of love. When we discipline our child we do so, not because we are their authority, but in service to them – responsible to raise up a productive member of society. When we vote we serve our community, state and nation by bringing our study and research of the issues and candidates to the ballot box. When we lead – in our household, in our community and in our work – we do so with an attitude of service, not with selfish ambition or a desire to rule over others.
To truly be a great leader, you must always be a great servant.