How many times have you said, "You can't let people walk all over you"? Or have you heard someone caution you "Don't let your self become a door mat"?
I've been thinking a lot about this lately. And it isn't really all that fun. You see our pastor spoke on being Great in God's Kingdom. What does that look like? Like being a slave. Choosing to be that person who does with out expecting thanks, pay, reciprocation of any sort. Laying down your life. Dying to self. Saying no to me, so I can say yes to God.
You know, kind of like Christ.
This sounds lovely and admirable, until you try to apply it to your self.
Do I want to be the slave in my house? Yes. Absolutely.....
I mean, so long as someone notices my excellent slaveness and my unbelievable humility.
It got me thinking, not only am I not to consider my self a well paid servant, but rather a potentially-taken-advantage-of slave; I should really think of myself as a door mat.
Use me. Walk on me. Give me your dirt and garbage. Let me be in a place where I'm sure to be ignored, overlooked, and beat up by the elements.
Now we are talking. I can get some Real Martyr Mileage out of that.
Oh, look at me. Laying here being used. I'm so slave-ish. sigh. It is hard being this self-sacrificing.
But consider that attitude? I've instantly removed any usefulness in the doormat. What if you walked up to a literal house, with a literal door mat that said on it:
Well, okay. I suppose you are welcome to come in. I was going to do something else, but whatever.
Sure, you can wipe your muddy boots on me. I'll just lay here and be dirty. Don't mind me (sigh)
Do you see what I mean? What we want to see on that mat is "Welcome" or "Come in to our home" or "Friends Gather Here" or any of those lovely, truly welcoming messages that speaks to the heart of the guest.
Which leads me to ask, what message am I sending out to my kids? To my husband? To my parents and inlaws? To my small group at church? To the people I serve with in music? To my neighbours?
Am I willingly, joyfully, honestly thrilled to serve? Or am I letting them know just how much they are putting me out with this favour but I'm going to bravely do it anyway just to show them the Love of Christ? Yuck. May the Lord forgive me for tainting the world's perception of His love like that.
I want to be the kind of person who really doesn't care for her own needs or desires. I used to always say with my husband that if all I care about are his needs then it frees him up to only care about mine. Then we both walk away feeling the joy of serving and the joy of being served. Not even sure that is totally the right motivation any more but it is sure better than the Pharisaical Trumpet Blowing I like to do some days (see Matt. 6:2).
I'm pretty sure that if I get this right, if we as Christians who love people get this right, then the world will never be the same. All eyes will turn to Christ. We must decrease; He must increase. (John 3:30).
Lord give me the heart and the attitude and the humility to say "I am an unworthy slave; I have only done that which I ought to have done" (Luke 17:7-10), and really mean it. Show me how to love what you love, and hate what you hate so that this all comes much easier. Show me the work You are doing in those around me and give me the courage to join in. Let me be like a door mat. Prone before You is always a good place to start anyway.