"...But whoever would be great among you must be your servant" (Mark 10:43).
One of the greatest people that I've ever known has truly exemplified to me the secret to that greatness: the humility of servant. It comes at a great cost. You choose to forgo the accolades and the appreciation that so many fight for. In November 2010, I had the awesome privilege of going to a communist nation 90 miles south of Florida to assist a pastor who had been asked to lead a marriage conference for local pastors. He had given me a few sessions to do, thus relieving some of his workload. At night, we were asked to go to area churches to preach. I had resigned myself to going and listening to this man of God that I was so happy assisting. There was one night, however, that he came and said, "I think you should do this one, tonight. It would be my honor to hear you preach." He wasn't concerned with the pats on the back and the appreciation of the people that he would not be receiving. He taught me that the greatest accolades don't come from people anyways, that it comes from God.
It's not hard to see many people's gross hunger for importance, popularity, position, or status. Even in Jesus' own circle, this was evident. His answer was simple, yet powerfully profound. If you want to be great, then you have to be willing to be a servant - the servant of all, willing to be the least, and be the last. If you want to go high, you've got to go low.
What a reminder. Think about it. We've all been called to be leaders, to be influencers in this life. But what we've really been called to do is to serve. Are you serving well? How can you serve better? In everything we do, we must pass it through the filter of answering this key question: "Is what I'm saying, thinking, or doing, reflecting an attitude to be served or to serve others?"
Serving others is what Jesus came to do. He didn't have to have the last word, the best seat, the greatest introductions, or the most fabulous accommodations. He came to get low. And when He surrendered Himself completely to the will of the Father in serving others, then the Father lifted Him up, exalting Him to the highest place of honor. Jesus didn't seek it, but He received it. Don't seek honor, seek humility. When God is the One lifting us up, we have a much greater chance of staying there.