The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Following Christ's example means to serve. To put the needs of others ahead of your own. To pour yourself out on their behalf, in the same way that Jesus poured His life out for our sake. To give up your privileges and benefits for others. Jesus did this too! He gave up all the privileges of the throne of Heaven to become the poorest man on earth. Why? "He became poor so that, through his poverty, you might become rich" (2 Corinthians 8:9). To follow Christ's example then, is to give too much; to give more than people think you should. To give of your very life.
Being Christ-like means forgoing that lavish vacation to feed the hungry. It means downgrading your house or car to help fund Bible translation. It means being willing to sacrifice social status to talk to co-workers and friends about the gospel. To be like Christ, you must give sacrificially: to your church, to missions, to widows, to orphans... It means humbling yourself, lowering yourself, as low as is necessary to really make a difference in the lives of others. It means doing more than just giving money; you have to get your hands dirty meeting real physical and spiritual needs in the lives of those around you.
Oh, how few of us actually live like Jesus did. I don't. Instead, I live in fear that I will take my faith too far, give away too much and suffer because of it. How absurd! Shockingly, the extreme that I fear is exactly what Jesus is calling me to. Give away too much! Live like Jesus did. There is nothing more costly, but nothing more worth it. Give your life away.
For further reading...
- Luke 14:25-33- Count the cost. "Those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples."