We place a lot of emphasis on titles in our society. Position and clout are celebrated in a world of who’s who, distinguishing them from who’s not. We place a lot of stock in degree and pedigree. Doctor, President, and Honorable Mr. So-and-so. But the only thing that James wants us to know about himself is that he is the simple servant of God and servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. There is certainly nothing glamorous about being a servant. A servant isn’t interested in his own glory, but is surrendered to the glory of another.
The word translated as “servant” is the Greek term ‘doulos.’ It refers to a common slave, one who gives himself up to another’s will, one devoted to another to the disregard of one’s own interests. Those who see themselves as a ‘doulos’ like James are not motivated by self-interests, nor do they live self-centered lives. Church history tells us that James truly was a ‘doulos.’ One early church historian tells us that he became known as “James the Just” because of his remarkable humility and integrity. As a worshiper and servant of Christ, James even became known as ‘Camel Knees’ throughout church history.
What if the name that people who saw your life up close and personal were similar? Something like ‘Calloused Hands’ because there was no project you weren’t willing to take on. Or maybe ‘Tender Heart’ because you have compassion for others. Or even ‘Dusty Feet’ because there is no place you aren’t willing to go in Jesus’ name.
Corrie Ten Boom once said that the measure of a life is not its duration but its donation. Do you want to live a successful life, or a significant life? Far too often we are obsessed with success. The true measure of a life is not one’s success, but one’s significance. All those who see themselves as servants of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ live significant lives for God’s glory.
For more, read Mark 10:42-45