THE SERVANT GENERAL
ON SERVANT LEADERSHIP
THE LEAST IS THE GREATEST
In doing the work of evangelization, we are in spiritual war.
Satan tries to bring us down and keep us from loving and serving
God. Aside from personal attacks, Satan tries to disrupt our
relationship with God and with our fellow Christians.
our relationship to God, Satan brings suffering and pain into
our lives, so that instead of continuing to be “blameless
and upright, fearing God and avoiding evil” we would
“blaspheme (Him) to (His) face.” (Jb 1:8b,11b).
Or at the least, we would be discouraged and no longer serve.
turn, in our relationship with fellow Christians, Satan brings
rivalry, both within (in our groups) and without (with other
groups). Within the community, there might be rivalry as to
“which of them was the greatest.” (Lk 9:46). Thus
leaders compete with each other--who has a greater harvest,
who commands more the loyalty of his subordinates, who generates
more funds, and so on. Outside the community, there might
be rivalry with another group that “does not follow
in our company.” (Lk 9:49b). This takes a particularly
diabolical turn when one group tries to prevent another group
from serving God, just as the disciples “saw someone
casting out demons in (Jesus’) name and (they) tried
to prevent him because he does not follow in (their) company.”
is competition. Rivalry is focusing not on God but on ourselves.
It is selfishness. It is pride. It is a sin of the flesh by
which, as Paul has repeatedly warned, “those who do
such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.” (Gal
5:21b). How tragic it would be that we seek to serve God but
end up losing our souls.
How do we remain steadfast as servants of Christ?
know that Satan is indeed trying to disrupt our relationship
with God and with one another. He is tireless in “roaming
the earth and patrolling it” (Jb 1:7b), because it is
his dominion and he is “prowling around like a roaring
lion looking for someone to devour.” (1 Pt 5:8b). We
need to be alert. We need to check ourselves whenever we fall
into self-pity or rivalry. We stop acting in ways that make
have the proper posture as to blessings and trials in life.
Every good thing comes from God. Every bad thing is allowed
by God, in the sense that it is within his power to allow
Satan to afflict us or not. If he allows it, then there must
be a higher purpose, which will ultimately redound to our
good. Thus our posture is that of Job: “Naked I came
forth from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I go back
again. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; blessed
be the name of the Lord!” (Jb 1:21). We must in fact
know that suffering is salvific and purifying. Convinced of
God’s great love for us and His desire only to bless
us, like Job we must “not sin, nor .... say anything
disrespectful of God.” (Jb 1:22).
we must take on the humility of a child. “Jesus realized
the intention of their hearts and took a child and placed
it by his side.” (Lk 9:47). A child in Israel then had
no social status and was helpless apart from his parents’
help. We must know that we are nothing without God. Whatever
we are able to accomplish in His service is only due to His
grace and power. So what is there to boast about? We are all
unprofitable servants, doing only what we are obliged to do
we must realize that God calls all His disciples to serve
Him, and to be of one heart and one mind. We are not to compete,
we are not to be envious, we are not to put another down.
Our only enemy is Satan. All true Christians are in this fight
together. We only want to promote the cause of Christ. We
realize the truth that “whoever is not against you is
for you.” (Lk 9:50b). We rejoice in the victories of
Jesus says, “For the one who is least among all of you
is the one who is the greatest.” (Lk 9:48c). We look
to our trials and suffering that bring us “prostrate
upon the ground” (Jb 1:20b) and humble us. We look to
taking on the heart and posture of a child. We do not prevent
but rather pray for and assist others in their work for the
are servants before we are leaders. We are nothing whom God
makes something of. We are laid low so that we can be raised
high. We are the least whom God can make the greatest.