“rendering service with a good will as to the Lord and not to man,”
In 2006, if you were to enter the Maranatha Baptist Church down in Plains, Georgia, you would have been greeted by bomb sniffing dogs and federal agents in the small 135-member church. Few churches, if any, would warrant such strict security clearance, but Marantha is a unique church; it is the only church that had a former President as one of its members and Bible study teachers.
After leaving the White House in 1981, Jimmy and Rosalyn Carter returned home to his hometown of Plains, population 716. They became active participants in their community and their local church. And although a former president with a high profile post-presidency, consisting of numerous service projects, overseeing the Carter Center, and a Noble Peace Prize for good measure, the Carters still remained active members in their church, he fulfilling faithfully his grass-cutting rotation for the church grounds, and her fulfilling her duties cleaning the church building when it was her turn.
Charles Spurgeon once said, “Never is life more ennobled than when we do all things as unto God.” In Ephesians 6:7, Paul exhorts the servants in their master-servant relationship to render “service with a good will as to the Lord, not to man.” Paul, in speaking to slaves, knows the mundane life they would have been living. He knows that their lives would be ones that could easily be filled with bitterness, resentment, and anger. Although not condoning the institution of slavery or the treatment of slaves, Paul states that they ought to know that ultimately they are serving God, and their aim should be His glory.
When we serve, whether at our jobs, or at home, or in a ministry at church, we are to remember that we are ultimately serving God. Jesus gave us a call to radical service. He washed His disciple’s feet, He served the multitudes around Him, and in His penultimate act of service, He gave His life as a ransom for many. When we aim for that type of serving-perspective, we can tolerate any injustice, any slight, any criticism, any problem, any gossip, any humbling task, any slander, any annoyance, any menial task, any opposition, any discomfort, because we know that He served us through His sacrifice to enable us to serve others. And we have the privilege of serving God by serving people, and serving people by serving God. We have the privilege and responsibility of manifesting Christ to people by our servant actions and attitude.