George Washington on Serving

portrait_of_george_washingtonOne day, during the Revolutionary War, General George Washington stepped out of his tent.  It was extremely cold, and the wind was blowing.  The demands of leading an army were weighing heavy on him, so he decided to go for a walk around the camp.  In his long coat, and with his collar turned up no one could recognize him as the commander of the Continental Army.

Washington came across a group of soldiers under the command of a corporal who was out to show he was in charge.  They were building a tall rampart of logs and the corporal kept barking orders, “Up with it!  Push harder!  What’s your problem?”  Trying with all their might to push the final log in place up top, they couldn’t do it.  Every time the last log would come crashing down.  The corporal would shout out again, “Up with it!  Push harder!  What’s your problem?”  Once more they would heave hoe only to have the log fall again.

Washington finally ran up and pushed with all of his might and finally the log fell into place.  Before the soldiers could thank him, Washington said to the corporal, “Why didn’t you help your men with the heavy lifting?”  He said, “Don’t you see?  I’m a corporal!”

Washington replied, “I see.”  He then opened up his coat and revealed his uniform, and he said, “I’m the Commander-in Chief.  The next time you have a log too heavy for your men to lift, send for me!”

In life there are some things that just don’t change.  We should pray, read our Bibles, worship with other believers, grow spiritually.   To that list we should also add serving.  It doesn’t matter how highly you are ranked, or how highly you get “promoted.”  It doesn’t matter how much responsibility you shoulder in your place of work.  Your IQ score, your popularity, the number of friends you have on Facebook, the amount of text messages you send and receive, the size of your family, the size of your 401K, or the size of your salary.  None of that changes the believer’s call to serve.

Washington was a great leader because he wasn’t afraid to get in there and do some heavy lifting.   In reality the best leaders are great servants.  If you don’t serve well you’ll never lead well.  The example of Washington reminds us of an even greater leader and greater servant – Jesus.  He humbled himself and served us graciously by dying for us on a cross, washing our sins by his grace when we were unable to wash ourselves.

Notice Galatians 5:13 – For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.


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