Of No Reputation

Gary Wilkerson

Jesus had the heart of a servant and he calls us to servanthood. “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross” (Philippians 2:5-8).

I want to give you six things Jesus would tell us today about serving:

  • A servant does not care about his reputation.
  • As a servant, we care more about what God thinks of us than what others think.
  • A servant does not get frozen in self-doubt or over-introspection.
  • A servant serves according to God’s plans and purposes, by the Holy Spirit’s inspiration.
  • A servant performs his services without a hint of pride.
  • A true servant serves as Jesus did — and the world sees a difference.

True servanthood is selfless, humble, and seeks the good of others — esteeming others more highly than we esteem ourselves. We don’t always feel like serving, of course. We may serve well when things are going smoothly but adverse circumstances tend to sap our energy for reaching out to others.

In accordance with the first point above, Jesus “made himself of no reputation.” Our attitude should mirror that of Jesus, who did not do things out of selfish ambition or a need for recognition. He put his own status and comforts aside to work for the good of those around him.

Does your life make a difference that the world takes note of? Rewards, public recognition or gratitude should not be our motivation to live out true servanthood the way Jesus did. But what pleasure it brings our Savior when we follow in his footsteps — and that is our true reward.