Matters of Faith: Service Above Self


by Rev. J. Loren Russell, BA, MDiv

Matthew 20:26-27 (KJV)

But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; and whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant:


This very significant title, “Service Above Self” is the motto that defines the objective of Rotary International, a service club that seeks to do for others, in many instances, what they cannot do for themselves. This motto is noble and even admirable especially when a large group of people, 1.8 million worldwide, ban together to serve others. Great and miraculous things happen.


This is the kind of service Jesus was talking about when He responded to a request from a mother on behalf of her two sons. She wanted them to be given prominent seats in His kingdom. Jesus made it clear that those who would be in leadership, places of influence and/or authority, are to be the chief servants. They are to be devoted to others to the disregard of their own interests. Just imagine what would happen if the 2.18 billion Christians worldwide embraced the directive found in Matthew 20:27. What would happen if they actually desired to be the servants the Lord has intended for them to be? Instead of seeking success and prosperity, they sought to give service above self? Could you imagine the world we would live in?


As we look forward to the celebration of Independence Day for The United States of America, I can’t help but think about those who gave service above self in the fight to get and then to keep the freedom we so enjoy today. They are veterans now. Where can they serve now that will be as impacting to society as they were in their service to the nation’s freedom?


The independence of this nation came about because of service above self, giving service and being concerned about the well-being of others before being asking, “What’s in it for me?” Serving does something on the inside that keeps manifesting itself on the outside. I’ve personally found that the more I serve, the more I receive. I do not need a title to serve. I do not need a position to serve. I do not need a great deal of resources to serve. All I need is a willingness to be of service. The same goes for you.


When one is willing to serve, willing to give their life for those they hold near and dear, it is recognized and rewarded by God Himself. If we are willing to give service above self, we can have yet another day of independence; a day where we can celebrate the liberation of all peoples everywhere from selfishness, greed and materialism.


The Fourth of July is a day to recognize the sacrifices that were made for our independence, and surreptitiously, a day to recommit to personally giving service above self.


Be Blessed

Author: Rev. J. Loren Russell, BS, MDiv is President/CEO of The JLR Company, and an associate minister at both Goodwill and Greater Universal Baptist Churches in the Bronx and hosts “Matters of Faith – The Radio Show” on Soul 1 Radio (internet), Mondays 8:00 – 10:00 PM., or by phone at 646-226-1448. You call in and listen without speaking.

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