Are You an Unworthy Servant?

hotel servant making bed in bedroom

Employers are not known for inviting their workers into their home to sit down at family meals. There is a separation of work and family, and workers are expected to do their jobs. We’ve been talking about passages where Jesus talks about the cost of being his disciples. People who plow and look back (come up with excuses) are not fit for the kingdom. Likewise, whoever does not bear his own cross and come after Jesus cannot be his disciple. Jesus also told a story of unworthy servants.

So what is an “unworthy servant?” Here’s what Jesus had to say: “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done what was our duty'” (Luke 17:10 ESV). Unworthy servants do their job. Unworthy is not the same as unvalued. In fact, unworthy servants have incredible value. Unworthy servants do not expect favors. They don’t demand or expect to sit at their boss’ table to eat until their work is done. They don’t expect to be thanked and commended for the work they were hired to do.

Christianity needs to remember this lesson. No job is above us. We are all called to serve our neighbors. We shouldn’t demand to be rewarded with praise and excessive gifts for doing the work God has called us to do. Entitlement is ruining the church. Instead, we need humility and thanksgiving. We are entering into the season of American Thanksgiving and it’s a reminder that we ought to always be thankful for all that we have. Every opportunity to serve others is a gift from God.

A Humble and Contrite Spirit


Isaiah called out oppression and the mistreatment of the poor. There is a definite theme of repentance that runs throughout the entire book of Isaiah. God is calling out the unrighteous, the oppressors, and those who mistreat their neighbors. In chapter 66, God is saying what Jesus often repeated–that sacrifices are an abomination to God if the hearts are corrupt.

God says, “I also will choose harsh treatment for them and bring their fears upon them, because when I called, no one answered, when I spoke, they did not listen; but they did what was evil in my eyes and chose that in which I did not delight” (Isaiah 66:4 ESV).

God reminds the people that He is the one who made the heavens and earth, and that the earth is his footstool. Our destiny is in God’s hands. He also reminds us that being humble, ashamed of our sins, and faithful to his word will get his eye: “All these things my hand has made, and so all these things came to be, declares the Lord. But this is the one to whom I will look: he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word” (Isaiah 66:2).

Jesus Christ had the same message. He preached repentance and called people to humble themselves. When people are humble and contrite, God looks upon them. The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love!

Photo by Mateus Campos Felipe on Unsplash

The Tree of Wisdom


Human nature is to pursue wisdom. It’s no secret that we live in an instant world. Amazon has become the biggest online retailer. In 2005, it boasted just over $8 billion in annual revenue. Just 13 years later, in 2018, it brought in just shy of $233 billion. People are buying online and are addicted to instant delivery. It has created a shortage of truck drivers, and Amazon outsources to USPS, UPS, and Fed-Ex, all of which are overwhelmed. Efficiency is expected to increase where people receive goods on their doorstep no more than 24 hours after they click “place order.”

But it’s not just stuff that we want immediately. As mentioned, wisdom is something people have wanted since the beginning of time. God forbade Adam and Eve from eating of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. But Satan tempted Eve with being “like God, knowing good and evil” (Genesis 3:5).

“So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate” (Genesis 3:6). Satan promised that their eyes would be opened. Enlightenment. Answers. Immortality (a lie). They were promised all of these things. And, in one bite, they could have it all.

Shortcuts. Eve and Adam, and really all of mankind, learns, forgets, and bears the consequence for seeking instant wisdom and understanding. We don’t have to look very far to realize how arrogant we are becoming. There are so many “experts” on immigration, abortion, church growth, and you name it. Most people have a strong opinion and throw it around as if it is fact. There is mass confusion and downright hysteria. This is what the quest for instant wisdom breeds.

Genuine wisdom, however, is rooted in humility and can’t be eaten into existence. We can’t pray for a silver bullet or whip our phone out to get wisdom. True Godly wisdom comes from above. To gain it, we need to be refined, tested, and stretched beyond our foreseeable comfort zones. Godly wisdom helps other people. It instructs and gently guides. This is the wisdom we need to pursue!

Photo by Andras Kovacs on Unsplash