I am generally very happy to serve… but detest being treated like a servant.
It seems that there is a certain category of people who are born with a smile; they only have one kind of attitude… a really good attitude. They don’t seem to have to work at it, or even think about it much; they just seem to be naturally optimistic and positive.
Sadly, I’m not in that category. My attitude is a constant project.
Nothing seems to more easily wreck my day than when I feel like I’m being treated like a servant. And then that realization, itself, makes matters even worse for me. First I feel bad about being treated like a servant, then I’m even more bummed out that I care how I’m being treated. The self talk goes something like, “really Dan, aren’t you happy to serve? Don’t you want to serve? Aren’t you at your best when you are serving? Then why all the angst about being treated like a servant?”
Hopefully, as I grow older, I’m learning to get over myself, and overlook these kinds of attitudes from others.
The more important lesson, for me, is assessing how I treat others along these lines.
I wish it was more rare when I realize that I have perpetrated the same sin on others. There are times when I can tell that there is something broken in a relationship and, after thinking about it, realize that I have treated that other person as a servant. Rather than ask, I’ve demanded. Rather than respect, I’ve offered contempt. Rather than appreciating the privilege of the service, I’ve communicated that it would be a privilege to be my servant.
The answer, of course, is not to stop asking for help, but to be sure to look for that help with respect and appreciation. I can always do a better job of making those “tasking” moments an opportunity to demonstrate the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22,23)