As presidential discussions begin, I find important to review what a servant leader should be in government or even the church. A leader is to be like the head of a body, knowing how all the parts work and function. They do not relish in the position but see it as being the one who will mobilize the body towards good works, preservation, and a direction that has the betterment of the whole body in mind. The leader as head seeks to resolve issues within the body without separation or marginalizing, because who heals a rash by cutting off the pieces that have it? Yet a leader knows when discipline is necessary to keep the body working together.
A leader gives the body a sense of identity, community and direction. A leader has instilled identity when everyone gets a feel for who they are and the role they play in the body, so no one person or group is left out. A leader has instilled community when there is a standard by which all can live and know the boundaries of justice, discipline and good will. A leader has instilled direction when all know and work towards a common goal and see others as partners instead of as individuals all seeking their own welfare. Without national goals, the individual goal is all that remains, inwhich all pursue selfish ambitions where others are either roadblocks or steppingstones for personal gratification instead of treating people as people.
In the same way that the second commandment is more about the worship of God, and not just an artistic limit on depicting Him, is the same way that the third commandment is more than just a prohibition of using God’s names and titles in irreverent ways.
The command states:
“You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain.” – Exodus 20:7 (ESV)
We usually take this from our context and assume it means to not use the name “Jesus” or God in cursing, or flippantly. This will click in your mind once I say it, but in addition to that, think of “taking God’s name” in a marriage and/or covenantal sense. In a way the deeper meaning point not just to our speech, but our entire way of life, because we (Christians) take on the name of God. We are His people, as were the Israelites hearing this from Moses. To bear the name of God is a serious reference point for one’s identity and way of life. Because of our actions the name of God can be either glorified or dragged through the mud.
Luke 3:14 Soldiers also asked him, “And we, what shall we do?” And he said to them, “Do not extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusation, and be content with your wages.”
There is a sense in which new and old Christians wonder what they should be doing for God. Like the crowd, tax collector and soldier from Luke 3, all ask, “What should we do now”? Surprisingly enough the answer is something we don’t expect, which is, go back into the world doing what you’re already doing. The only catch is that we are asked to do those things as if in service to God and others, honestly and with the good of others in mind. This is not the climb the ladder stepping on others along the way model for success, but is instead what is real wisdom, love and community is from Gods point of view.
This is radical thinking in some modern Christian circles, because our job is usually nothing more than an occupation (that which meerly occupies our time). Occupations are hardly spiritual, unless you work for a church in some capacity, is what most believe. The above challenges us to view a job or position (friend, child, coworker) as a calling of God to just be good at what you do, use the gifts you have, and to do so honestly and lovingly within the context of the life you are already in. This not only elevates all vocations to be a calling of God, but elevates each Christians responsibility to be that Child of God exactly where God has placed you moment by moment. There is no excuse to say, I’m not a pastor, so my work is meaningless or that in the future you plan on missions work each summer, so time in school as a student is somehow less important. We are Gods people 24-7 no matter where we are.
This does not mean we are preaching at work or witnessing during lunch breaks, but meerly that we would be and do the best we can where God has placed us. Being good friends, workers, students, bosses, parents and children in whatever context of life you are “Currently” in. Be that child of God where you are right now, not just on Sunday when at church.
I tried to diagram this out as best and as humbly as I could.
Hope these help.