Master vs Servant

Jesus said, “…whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be 1st must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life as a ransom for many.”

The World Of Eat or Be Eaten.

In the corporate world today, or in any ordinary working environment whether influential or not, it is never surprising to see how people aspired to make it to the top in whatever ways or manners possible. In the case of employment, the higher the post you’re sitting, the better the income and perks you would command. Not forgetting that also means your life becomes easier as others would be working under your supervision and having to take everything in their strides like it or not. Everyone thinks that’s necessary to take control of everything. Is that so? But if your authoritarianism failed to reciprocate mutual respect, what’s the point? When such an important aspect of the working environment is missing, certainly it will lead to something critical which will be a perennial problem if not tackled wisely.

In the case of entrepreneurship, it’s a little different as all the “big sharks” are fighting for the same prize – survivor of the fittest! Even then, there are still rooms for the smaller fishes to thrive. And it’s only a question of how big the appetite you have, whether you plan to nip at it slowly, bite it wittily or swallow it viciously the big chunk of “meat” that everyone else have their eyes on. Whatever the case, you could still stand a chance to emerge the champion because size does not matter. It very much depends on living by one’s wits. And that of course comes with a price. The bigger the prize, the bigger the challenge and sacrifice. More so, if you want to be greedy, you have no other choices. You have to make sure you are ever ready with a sure-fire plan or else better be ready to take the worst bashing ever in your life. Meaning to say: Do not shoot the arrow that will return to strike you! Got the catch?

It is common perception among the workforce anywhere in the world that as long as one gets to the top in the corporate world, one would be considered as someone who is real ‘cool’ and seen almost as a sort of admirable “relic” that easily get respected without question all because of the riches one acquired whether it’s a case of work smart, work hard or perhaps even work crooked which is admissible by the world standards now as long as you’re not caught doing any “hanky-panky” business even if you did. Whatever the ‘madness’ that is making people going in the heels of hedonism which ironically is what setting off the mad rat-race, everyone, Christians or not, is not spared the irony. Like it or not, people are madly and truly in love of becoming a master to be served than to become a servant whose job is to serve.

In the course of pursuing all such earthly splendors of life that only would be possible to be had by becoming a master instead of a servant, the possibilities of one easily falling into the trap of the devil can somewhat be endless as there would always be unscrupulous people going the unscrupulous ways to meet whatever their goals to become the masters. Don’t forget however to say kudos to those, whether in employment or in business, who painstakingly and genuinely work all their way up to the top without resorting to any foul means of which the corporate world would name as the common practice of cronyism, corruption and whatnot.

Supposing you are given the choice and the opportunity to become a “master” as everyone else and it doesn’t matter whether you are less educated than others or not, that’s immaterial. But the question is, what does becoming a master and not a servant seriously means to you? The most important question to ask yourself is this. Can you really become a good master without having to become a servant first? If not, then…

What Makes A Good Master?

For those of you who have the means and resources – born with a silver spoon in one’s mouth that is. Naturally there’s not much of a problem or hassles to have a good head-start in becoming a master straightaway. And that I meant becoming a boss and employing workers (servants) to do all the donkey job for you. But does it mean that having such good prospect of becoming a “master” will automatically make you a good master? I don’t think so. Do you? As far as the job of becoming a good master is concerned, it don’t come easy. It never will and neither will it stay easy afterwards. And that is, if you know and understand what exactly does a good master means and entails.

To put it bluntly, it simply means you do not have the making of a good master if you don’t start from the bottom as a servant (worker) no matter what’s the excuse or privilege. That’s the prerequisite to become a good master that no one can brush it off as unnecessary or unimportant. If you think you are so super as to start from the top without learning the ropes, the chances of you falling and come crashing down is pretty much super too.

How can anyone or anything start from the top place? Can you build a house from the top down? Everything has to start from the bottom and that of course including the making of a good master. That’s why Jesus started out as an “ordinary man” and went through great sufferings and excruciating pain to prove himself worthy of becoming the Messiah aka Savior. So make sure you don’t become a boss if you do not even have the making of a good servant in the 1st place. It’s so crucial to learn what it means to become down-to-earth.

What is down-to-earth and what exactly does it mean? Here’s an analogy that will explain better. If you died while you are up in the space above the earth, you’d still be brought back down-to-earth and buried. Got it?

The trend of the world now is completely different from the past where people were more holistic in their approach in making a living and everything else. Making profits back then were pretty much secondary. Trust and Honesty were the top priorities. That means people would think of winning your trust first before they think of their pockets in all honesty. So sad it’s not the same anymore. That’s why the world has gone madder than had you thought getting better. So stop kidding yourself! Can you imagine how twisted human’s minds are now that people could only think of evil ways to devour you for your money faster than the lightning strikes? People are more than realistic these days as everything is getting so commercialized that it is like churning out mechanical-like humans “programmed” to have one thing in the mind only. And that is no other than lining one’s pocket and die having lots of them!

The fact of the matter is, hardly anybody bothers about thinking as a wise man would anymore. Would you? The worst thing that is happening is that everyone thinks everything could be bought – even love! Not a long while ago probably a month or so, I was so aghast to read the news of a woman old enough to become anybody’s grandma, but got sucked dry of her fortune because she was so adamant in trusting a so-called “foreign general” from an internet chat site that she was willing to part all her wealth in millions to him whom she probably hadn’t the slightest idea what he really looked like. Truth is, you might be able to “buy” the person or service for whatever reasons or purposes, but you know very well that money can’t buy love. Even that became the lyrics of a Beatles’ title song so long ago. There is certainly no short-cut to love or to be loved for goodness sake!

The Price To Pay To Be Served.

Today, if you are the master (boss), whether good at it or not, you’d still be sitting pretty and easy on the title as your workers (servants) will still continue to “adore” and “respect” you as long as you have the means to keep them on payroll. No one will serve you for nothing. Do you? Having said that, you’d still have the “power” of a master ordering your workers around at your whims and fancies or worse, barking like a mad dog just to make your “presence” felt regardless of what they would think of you as a master. And it’s all because you believed you have “bought” them with a price. But at what price?

Is it the price that comes with your own extra version of “stipend” to scold or fire anyone you deemed fit?

Is it so great the price as to give your life as a ransom for anybody? If it’s a flat no answer much to the chagrin of your own self-righteousness, that means only one thing. You may have the means to become a master, but you do not even have the slightest idea what it means to become a good master. Only a good master will command obedience and respect from the servants automatically without fail. If you are not a good master that you so awesomely thought you are, it only makes good sense to demote yourself to the rank of a servant that is so necessary for you to start learning from scratch. It’s only when you put yourself in the shoes of a worker (servant) and get seriously humiliated first will you only then learn the meaning of what a good master is. So be sure to master yourself before trying to master others. Here it goes again – the all so incredible saying, “No pain, no gain!”

Big Reward To Serve.

The biggest problem with many so-called masters (bosses) today is that they do not even have the least common sense to get it right when it comes to conducting oneself as a master. What most of them seriously lacking and awfully in need of learning is to grasp the true meaning of what humility is and the integrity that comes with the painful experience in mastering it! To this day and time, there is less than a handful that I knew of other than the Lord Jesus Christ who have had mastered the art of humility that by learning to serve as a servant, now had God exalted him to the highest level that every knees should bow at his name. Now, that’s really awesome if you want to know what it means to be a good master! There’s another one that easily popped up in my mind now and he is no other than Mahatma Gandhi.

If you watched the epic movie, “Gandhi”, you would have no problem learning or perhaps noticed that it was humility that Gandhi learned from the teachings of Jesus that led him to believe it was the most powerful tool that can unmistakably change or move anybody’s heart. And not to mention, it’s a key so profound that it can overturn any circumstances legal or not and still had its holistic nature not shaken or stirred. That’s why Jesus placed so much emphasis on teaching humility. And of course, everyone knows he had a tough time doing just that with his own chosen people especially those arrogant and self-righteous religious leaders. To have a better impact, he became an example himself by washing the dirty feet of his disciples, having company with the lowly ones, healing the sick and eating with sinners and so forth.

Can the present day masters (bosses) do this to his workers? Let’s not talk about it in the literal sense where you take something at face value. But by showing only a little empathy, respect and some restraints in words and tone is already good enough so as not to exacerbate the working relationship between one another with hard feelings that is certainly not conducive to bring about harmony, let alone productivity! Yet something so fundamental could not be absolved in some instances. Why? Surely you know why by now. Don’t you?

Still so sadly, the world and everyone in it is not changed and in the least bothered about changing. People are very likely never going to until doomsday. Why? Because it is so certain that no one likes to be “humiliated” nor can anyone accept the idea of embracing humility so easily based on such aspect. To them, what it only meant is displaying “weaknesses” which definitely no big shot, especially politicians will ever want to compromise between power and humility. It is always a no, no to get slapped in the face and not retaliate, that’s for sure! That’s why the humility cause is still perfectly missing and it’s a big crisis out there!

You know, it’s interesting to see how vain people can become when you have learned what humility is by looking through the eyes of Jesus. That is why believing Jesus is seeing! People have no problems promoting charity because it surely makes one feel good to “do good”. But another pertinent question is, will people have problems promoting humility emphatically the way Jesus did? You know, the one that comes with getting slapped left and right? Your guess is as good as mine. Either people forget easily how it made Jesus a great Master and Gandhi the ‘Bapu’ of India, or people simply don’t think such an idea of promoting humility would be practical and sustainable. Most people will even tell you it’s outdated. Why? It’s because of the fear of humiliation! That’s why people are taking the easy way out and will always prefer to have their pretentiousness rearing its ugly head which little did they know, is even worse than facing the humiliation of being slapped on one side and offered the other side as well. People will always want to take the easy way out because they still think it’s “cool” to become the master that can boss around and not the kind that Jesus taught and showed as an example himself that would entail sufferings, pain and humiliation. That’s why there are many “bosses” but not good masters who are truly leaders.

If you are the spoon-fed type and automatically given the post of a manager to run a company for whatever the reason, you can be very certain too that you will automatically not make it to become a good master with a very good and valid reason. What’s that? You don’t have what it takes! Why? Because there’s no lesson of humility for you to learn when you are looking to be served and not to serve. That’s also why there’s no reward to make you feel good! It only makes you feel something is missing and you will never know what it is. It’s obvious. If you don’t even know what it’s like to get scolded in front of others as a worker (servant), then you certainly have no experience at all to take control of any situation or crisis when you face one yourself. Because of your inexperience that comes from not knowing how to put yourself in the shoes of a worker, certainly you cannot expect the worker to respect you, much less tolerate you. When that happens, you will find yourself having a worker less than motivated and less than willing to put in efforts to do a proper job for you because you have failed to get hold of the key to his heart. Then of course you can cry foul and argue that no one is indispensable. On the contrary, you will see how far can such expendable attitude and reputation of yours can go or will last. Don’t forget. Bad news travels faster than the speed of sound! Either you make a good news of yourself or bad news. Take your pick!

In the movie, when Gandhi wanted the riot against the British to stop before the independence and the killings between the Hindus and Muslims to stop after independence, he just went on a hunger strike as he always disapproved of accomplishing anything through violence and that’s humility at work. The riots and killings stopped completely because of him. Why? Is it because the people cried foul and argued like you that Gandhi is indispensable too? If they were like you, there wouldn’t have been enough of Gandhijis to die from hunger strike. The most important lesson to learn here from Gandhi who actually learned from Jesus is that he was 101% sure he would not die from his hunger strike because he believed so wholeheartedly the power of humility will prevail. Sure enough it did! Before both nations, India and Pakistan separated, the Indian Muslims and Hindus alike respected him so much because they saw in him the making of a good master as he was doing a marvelous job proving himself exactly that of a servant by going through sufferings, pain and humiliation to serve his people and country. Can you? If not, then it’s obvious that you do not have the making of a good master.

Although there is no argument that could be documented to show that Gandhi though not a Christian, he had not evidently followed in the footsteps of Jesus Christ without failing one bit on the teachings of humility that Jesus taught as he said in Matthew 23:11-12, “But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.”

But still Gandhi believed what propelled him to become a good master and brought freedom to his people and country was that it always pay to humble oneself first. This is because it is very much a better and honorable choice to prevent oneself from falling into the trap of eating humble pie and having to feel so shameful afterwards. So we should say kudos to Jesus Christ for showing us how to become a good master, shouldn’t we?

What about you? Can you become a good master? If so, then brace yourself. For a start, you badly needed to get slapped in the face left and right to wake up!