Two men's hands reaching out to help each other.

The Joy of Servanthood

- by Joyce Meyer

Jesus says in Mark 10:43-45, 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 (AMP).

In these verses, Jesus says that servanthood is what makes a person great, and that no one can become great without it! What is a servant? A servant is one who lives to benefit another person—they sacrifice for someone else’s joy or fulfillment. Sacrifice is the only status symbol in the kingdom of God. 

Years ago, I released a series of teachings on servanthood titled "What Makes a Great Man Great?" I was disappointed to find that it wasn’t selling very well. I believe the reason is because we’re often like children who don't want to eat our vegetables. We like the things that taste good, but we often ignore the things we really need to be healthy.

At one time in my life, I would not touch vegetables. As a child I had not been taught to like them, so I stayed away from them. I liked pasta, fried foods, cakes, pies, potatoes, and meat. 

As a result, I was overweight and felt bad. Later, I learned to like fruits and vegetables and other foods that were better for me. Now I actually crave vegetables. If I go very long without eating generous portions of them, I really miss them!

I used to be the same way about loving and serving others. I was imprisoned in my own little narrow world, always trying to take care of me. Needless to say, I was miserable. Because when we are always focused on ourselves, it drains the joy out of our lives. We were created to love others—to focus outward and concern ourselves with the needs of those around us.

And it’s not just about loving others. God wants us to love and serve people with the right motives and do it all for the right reasons. 

I’ll never forget one day in particular when the Lord was dealing with me about motives. He spoke to my heart and said:

“Joyce, do you know how you can tell if you’re walking in love? Look at how you treat people who can do nothing for you in return.”

That got my attention! I admit, there were many times in the early years of my walk with God when I simply wanted to be “seen” doing something for others. In my heart, I desired for people to think, Oh, look at Joyce, she is just so spiritual.

I love what Jesus says in Matthew 6:2-4 (AMPC):

“So whenever you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not blow a trumpet before you [to advertise it], as the hypocrites do [like actors acting out a role] in the synagogues and in the streets, so that they may be honored and recognized and praised by men. I assure you and most solemnly say to you, they [already] have their reward in full. 

But when you give to the poor and do acts of kindness, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing [give in complete secrecy], so that your charitable acts will be done in secret; and your Father who sees [what is done] in secret will reward you.”

I think we’re naturally interested in hearing messages that talk about all of the things God wants to give us—His promises for His children. So, when we hear the word “servanthood,” it doesn’t immediately thrill us. However, if we truly want to have a great life—a life filled with peace, joy, fulfillment, and meaning—it all begins and ends with loving and serving other people. 

Today, I am happier than I’ve ever been in my life. I can honestly say that it’s not because of this ministry or any “things” I have. It’s because the Lord has helped me come to the place where I know where my true joy comes from—seeking Him and serving other people.    

I challenge you today: Begin asking God to show you people to love, bless, and serve. Get up each day and purposely think about who you can help—even if it’s just a little thing. Look for opportunities to let God love others through you. 

At first, your mind and emotions may rebel. They may scream, What about me? But as you push past yourself and choose to focus on others, you will slowly but surely begin to experience a whole new level of joy. 

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