'...And whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. Jesus called them together and said, “You know that those who are regarded as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ' Mark 10:42-45
I’m talking to you today from a pressure point. As a person who believes in service, I often struggle and toggle between how much to give people and how much to hold back. The scripture above has been used to lead many sincere, loving, and serving Christians astray. Overextending ourselves when we really don't have to, giving in places we were never called to serve, because of dogmatic interpretation of scripture.
I am learning that even when God calls us to serve, he always places a boundary. Reason being, God is fully aware that we live in a world full of users and takers. As such, when he calls us to higher levels of service or to stand before kings, he will often give us a boundary of how far we should go in service.
A perfect example to illustrate my point is our beloved sister, Tabitha, in the Bible. A new testament character, she served and gave to her community to the point of death. On the day she passed away, her community surrounded her, mourning and weeping, but they could not revive her. Not until an Apostle of the Lord walked into the situation was there resurrection for Tabitha.
“Peter put them all out of the room, and knelt down and prayed; then he turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up!” She opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter, she sat up.” - Acts 9:40 GNTD
I have been there before. Not in the physical, but spiritually, emotionally, mentally, feeling like I was to the point of death. In those moments, I would often find myself depending on my husband and God to revive me. As I revisit my attitude towards serving today, I want to remind you to always keep a little bit of you for yourself.
I am learning to put myself first. If I do not feel healthy, I do not step out to serve. I now realize no one will understand what you sacrificed from an empty cup to give. On the contrary, most people will criticize your inability to give from a place of wholeness.
This is why I am telling you; they cannot have you. The world cannot have you; the community cannot have you; your family members cannot have you. The only person who should have you is God. Learn to listen to his prompts; where is he asking you to step back or lean in? His wisdom always leads us to THE EZ Breezy Life.
Issata O. is a leader, advocate, and lover of Christ. By day she is a leader in higher education, and by night she is a wife, student, and mother to a very special little boy named Mighty Manny. She believes in transforming the lives of imperfect women through the grace of a perfect God. She is the founder of The EZ Breezy Life, Manny's Village, and Issata O. Inc. Learn more about Issata O. by visiting www.issatao.com.