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Monday, April 12, 2010

Day 33: We remain your humble servants*

I've jumped over Day 32 because I need some reports that I don't have with me at the moment.

The Day 33 chapter of The Purpose Driven Life  talks about how we are to use our gifts to serve others, rather than for personal gain, and makes the point that sometimes we are called to do things at which we are not particularly gifted because there is no one else around to help.

Rick Warren defines a real servant as having the following characteristics:
  • they make themselves available to serve even when it is inconvenient to them - can God mess up your plans without you becoming resentful? Hmmm, that would be a "no" from the control freak in this corner.
  • they pay attention to needs - you can begin by looking for things no-one else wants to do.  Coincidentally, I was watching Rowena McEvoy on the latest Biggest Loser Master Class today.  Leaving school she wanted to be an aerobics teacher, so she went to a gym and asked to do the classes no-one else wanted to do.  This turned out to be the Sunday morning class.  She started with 3 regulars in the class and soon had 60 regulars.  She is now one of the richests people under 40 in Australia. 
  • they do their best with what they have - you don't have to be able to do things perfectly
  • they do every task with all their heart - "God will never exempt you from the mundame." That's a shame, I really don't cope well with the mundane. I must try remember that while I'm doing the dishes and putting away clothes tomorrow.
  • they are faithful to their ministry - in other words, they are reliable
  • they maintain a low profile - it is only God that you need to impress.  Rick Warren cites Joseph as an example here (I talk about Joseph in my post on Day 28), and pointed out that because of his servant attitude he was blessed by God. He goes on to write these words that I feel are directed right at me "You may be serving in obscurity in some small place, feeling unknown and unappreciated. Listen: God put you where you are for a purpose! ... You had better stay put until he chooses to move you."  No wonder switching jobs has never got me to a better job. 

As you may have realised by now, I have real issues with my job.  But it occured to me while reading this chapter that if I thought about what my boss needs me to do and said to him, why don't I do X, rather than just sitting around complaining about the stuff he does get me to do, we might both be better off.

Note: I managed to track down A.J. Jacobs book The Year of Living Biblically. In it he mentions buying The Purpose Driven Life but only discusses how Rick Warren tithes 90% of his income and keeps only 10%, rather than the standard tithe 10%, keep 90%. In any case, well worth a read, I couldn't put it down and read it in only three days.


* Years ago I worked on a project to select a consortium to build a new building for the County Court.  This was the sign off (that is, in place of "yours sincerely") on the cover letter presenting the County Court's annual report to parliament.


  1. Hi Isabella!

    Sorry I didn't get the reference to the sign off to the County Court project. Did I miss something?

    BTW great to see you last Saturday with Amelia and Mike!



  2. Hi Ken,

    It's the title - I should have specified, not just used the *.

    - Isabella