"For by the grace (unmerited favor of God) given to me I warn everyone among you not to estimate and think of himself more highly than he ought [not to have an exaggerated opinion of his own importance], but to rate his ability with sober judgment, each according to the degree of faith apportioned by God to him."
- Romans 12:3 AMP
The other day, I was ironing clothes. This wasn't all that unusual for me, since I've been ironing my family's clothes for almost 30 years. But what WAS unusual was that this time, God spoke to my heart while I was doing it. I began the task by offering it up to the Lord, and asking for His help, as I always do. But with every stroke of the iron, I seemed to be getting more and more irritated. I suppose I was saying things to myself like, "Why am I doing this? There are so many more important things I could be doing right now. This is a colossal waste of my time!" After I grumbled and griped to myself for a while, I felt the Lord impress upon me that He was just as pleased with me for doing this humble task, as He was with me ministering to others in His name.
I know what it's like to touch and change lives for the glory of God. You can't compare it to anything else. It's exciting and fulfilling. It can even seem intoxicating and addicting at times. I don't think that these feelings are in themselves wrong. But what IS wrong is when we get to the point where all we want to do are tasks that make us feel important, or that are filled with enough purpose and meaning to satisfy us. The Bible says, "Do not be haughty (snobbish, high-minded, exclusive), but readily adjust yourself to [people, things] and give yourselves to humble tasks. Never overestimate yourself or be wise in your own conceits." (Romans 12:16 AMP) God doesn't ever want us thinking that certain tasks are "beneath" us. And He doesn't want us looking down on people who do menial work. Scripture says, "Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited." (Romans 12:16 NIV) Years ago, I saw a famous comedian being interviewed on TV. He said that whenever he went back home to visit his parents, they made him take out the garbage. It was their way of humbling their son, and reminding him that he wasn't too good to give himself to lowly tasks, or to appreciate those who do.
Jesus said, "Whoever desires to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be most important and first in rank among you must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man came not to have service rendered to Him, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many." (Mark 10:43-45 AMP) Jesus perfectly modeled servanthood. As one godly man put it, "Jesus came as a servant, not a superstar." The way we get ahead in the world is through personal achievement. But the way we get ahead in the kingdom of God is through servanthood. Do you want greater blessings and promotions from the Lord? Then get busy serving others. Ask the Lord how you can better serve people at home, at work, in your neighborhood, and elsewhere. Don't be afraid to engage in ordinary, mundane tasks. As you offer them up to the Lord, He will energize you, invigorate your work, and fill you with His joy.
Nowadays, I try to look at ironing my family's clothes as a heavenly assignment. Even though it's a lowly task in the world's eyes, I know that it is so much more in God's. My prayer for you today is that you'll "give yourself to humble tasks," and reap the rich rewards that are reserved only for those with a servant's heart!
Prayer: Lord, please forgive me for the times I've grumbled about performing lowly tasks. Grant me a new awareness of how important these things are in Your sight. Give me a spirit of humility, and the heart of a servant. Thank You that as I commit myself to serve others in Your name, Your blessings, rewards, and promotions will chase me down and overtake me!
- J. M. Farro