Does it surprise you that being a servant of God is perilous?
To some folks, serving others sounds as safe and harmless as a poached egg on a plate. What could possibly be perilous about it? Plenty.
As we examine Paul's words in the fourth chapter of 2 Corinthians, I'd like to suggest several familiar misconceptions regarding servanthood. Read verses four through seven carefully:
The god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelieving so that they might not see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. For we do not preach ourselves but Christ Jesus as Lord, and ourselves as your bond-servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who said, "Light shall shine out of darkness," is the One who has shone in our hearts to give the Light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves. (2 Corinthians 4:4–7)
Sounds like servants comprise an elite body of people, doesn't it? They possess a treasure. The "surpassing greatness" of God's power pours out of their lives. But when you look closely, you detect that all of that is of God, not themselves.
This introduces us to misconception number one: servants have special powers in themselves. How very easy it is to look at God's servants through rose-colored glasses! It's almost as if they possess a mystical, divine unction or some angelic "mantle" that causes them to ooze with supernatural, heaven-sent power. But this is wrong! Look at an earlier verse:
Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God. (2 Corinthians 3:5)
They have no special powers in themselves. Tomorrow, I'll offer a couple of more misconceptions.
But for now, mark it well: servants are absolutely human, filled with all the weaknesses and potential for failure that characterize every other human being.
Taken from Improving Your Serve by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com
Used with permission. All rights reserved.