Servant or Critic

I am in Seattle right now with my Week of Ministry team. Yesterday we help our ministry partners, Praisealujah Ministries, by handing out food and toiletries for homeless folks at a park at 3rd and Yesler. It was eye-opening for these folks from Nebraska.

After that we attended the evening worship service of Mars Hill Church in the Ballard area. Pastor Mark Driscoll’s sermon was done via a pre-recorded video, but was very good. I have heard Driscoll before. He is a marvelous communicator. He has a style all his own, which is to preach what many would consider several full-blown sermons in one message. Last night he had four. The content is rich, but a little like drinking from a waterfall at some point.

One thing he said that really stuck with me from the sermon(s) was his point at the difference between a “critic” and a “servant.” These two will look at the same dysfunctional situation in need of repair. The critic will look from a distance, allowing himself the ability to criticize and belittle. The servant will say, “Let’s fix this,” and will jump in to help. I have been on both sides of this, critic and servant. I pray that as I continue to mature in the Lord, I will lose more of my critic side and enjoy the life of the servant to the fullest.

In the Gospel of Mark, I am reminded of the great “ransom” verse, which has been a theological crossroads for centuries. In debating the nature of the ransom act, we probably have missed the impact of the rest of the verse:

Mark 10:45 “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

May we all be more like Jesus this week and find ways to serve instead of criticize.

Mark Krause
Nebraska Christian College