Down the Ladder to Volunteer Slavery?

Ron Geschwendt

READ : Matthew 20:20-28

If climbing up the ladder can be labeled selfish ambition, how do we describe climbing down the ladder? Try the word “servant.” When you give food to a person who is hungry, poor, old, or sick, you discover greatness. In the eyes of God you are rated number one. This spiritual principle, on the surface, makes little sense to secular persons. They gauge a successful life by the prominent people they know, the authority they exert or the money in their bank accounts.

But God is pleased with and gives happiness to the person who decides to serve others. This alternative makes no sense to money-grubbers and power-hungry individualists. Jesus releases power to anyone who accepts the way of volunteer slavery. He set this pattern by offering his own life for the best and worst of sinners. When he went humbly to the cross, he freed all who will believe in him from the slavery of self-adulation.

The attack of September 11 on New York taught us a lesson in servanthood. Day and night for weeks on end rescue workers climbed down in the smoking rubble looking for survivors. Volunteers brought food and water to exhausted workers who searched through the dust and twisted steel. Honor or shame?


O Christ, help me to understand how to be your servant.