“If my goal was popularity, I wouldn’t bother being Christ’s slave”.
Gal 1:10 EHP
People who itch to get the approval of other people make popularity their be-all and end-all. Usually when they succeed their fame is short-lived. Whilst they entertain they are popular. When they disappear from view they are quickly forgotten.
Paul was not seeking popularity. He deemed himself to be the slave of Christ. (Some translations use the word “servant” here but servant is not the correct translation at all. Slave is). When ancient nations went to war the conquerors took off a large portion of the defeated population back to their home country. They were regarded as the booty of war and were made slaves. They were not always the labouring people. Often they were skilled in what today we would call the professions. Paul had been accosted by Christ on the road to Damascus. He had surrendered to Christ in faith. From then on he regarded himself, not as Christ’s servant, but as his slave. A servant is a free person who works and then goes. A slave is the possession of his master who has total control over him. What other people thought of him was of no interest to Paul. His only concern was what Christ thought. Throughout the Bible the great people are all happy to be called “the Servant of God”. Paul went a step further.
It is good and right to become a servant of Christ. But the really great servants have become slaves of Christ in the sense in which Paul refers to here. Are you prepared to surrender your will totally to Jesus and to let him call the shots in all things all the time?
Lord, I surrender all things heartily to you.