Are we servants?

OUR five-year-old asked for more milk on her breakfast cereal. Then, contemplating how quickly her request was granted, she said thoughtfully to me, ``You'd make a great servant!'' I chuckled about this briefly, because I had often suspiciously felt this way, and then reasoned she meant it as a compliment. We are all servants, I thought, whatever our position, to the degree that we choose to serve our families or fellowman.

Although the word ``servant'' in the Bible usually means a bondservant or slave, it can also mean, in the highest sense, that we are the servants of God--free, but choosing to serve Him. Abraham, Moses, Paul, and James were servants of God. Paul spoke of serving God ``with my spirit in the gospel of his Son.'' 1

Paul was a Roman citizen and a freeman, often protected by Roman law. But in following the teachings of Christ Jesus and preaching throughout Asia he devoted his life to helping others and serving God.

The decision is ours to love God supremely, and our fellowman as ourselves, as Jesus taught us to do. This sense of giving means we cannot serve two masters.2 As we can learn from the Bible, there is one omnipotent creator, God, and His likeness, man, is spiritual, unlimited, and free. God's image, man, is as perfect as his creator, and we can demonstrate this heritage of freedom as long as we refuse to serve carnal thinking, refuse to indulge in sinful habits.

Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science, speaking of the fact that body is tributary to Mind, tributary to God, continues, ``Thus it is with man, who is but the humble servant of the restful Mind, though it seems otherwise to finite sense.'' 3

True humility, as exemplified by Jesus and Paul, takes away any sense of burden or false responsibility in serving God. Man is really tributary to the one perfect Mind, not to limited, mortal thought. Man's very identity is determined by Mind. It's natural for us, then, to be His servants. And the useful work we do to glorify Him can never weigh us down or deplete us. The real source of energy in working for God is in God, and a deep satisfaction and sense of completeness follows working for Him--expressing His pure, intelligent, loving nature--and blessing our fellowman.

Sometimes it's easy to get bogged down in raising a family or caring for another unless we approach such work as more than do-gooders. To express the infinite God, good, is to manifest the love, activity, and joy of divine Life. And this does more than just help in a limited, human way; it heals and uplifts. Spiritual dedication goes beyond feeding or caring for material bodies. It requires more than lip service to God. It means working and praying to see the actual selfhood of man, the spiritual reality, revealed and understood. Refusing to let merely the outward view of things occupy a disproportionate amount of our thinking, and accepting the spiritual identity and capability of others, we will help them, and enable them to do their part more fully in serving God and man.

God parents His creation, and we are all His children. All, in truth, are under the control of the one divine intelligence. The real demand to serve is the demand of our heavenly Father, and knowing this makes human thought less demanding. Putting God first and acting on the Christlike concept of perfect God and perfect man, we make the human subordinate to the divine. The consequences will be progress on the road to salvation as well as better health and happier, freer lives. 1 Romans 1:9. 2 See Matthew 6:24. 3 Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures, pp. 119-120.

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