SERVICE vs. BONDAGE TO OTHERS


After he had washed their feet, had put on his robe, and had returned to the table, he said to them, ‘Do you know what I have done to you? You call me Teacher and Lord—and you are right, for that is what I am. So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have set you an example, thatyou also should do as I have done to you.’” (Jn 13: 12-15) What is the difference between the kind of ministry Jesus is talking about, “washing one another’s feet,” – and the wrong kind, for example, of people-pleasing? Christ is the difference, with the freedom He provides. That is to say, when ministry is done in connection with Him, it is fueled and guided by His free and freedom-giving Spirit, Who steers us away from any damaging codependency or other forms of self-centered bondage. In His kind of ministry, I don’t only remain free, but also have the capacity to foster the freedom of others, “washing their feet” so that they may more easily “walk” further on their journey. Let me stay close to Him and His liberating word today, so I can do that as best I can, – not because I must, but because I want to: “If anyone wants to come after me,” He says to me today, “let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” (Mt 16: 24)
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