Author: Elisabeth Elliot

Source: A Lamp For My Feet

Scripture Reference:

Volunteer Slaves
“Slave” is not a word most of us nowadays feel comfortable with. It is significant that most modern Bible translations use “servant” instead. For a slave is not his own, has no rights whatsoever, is not in charge of what happens to him, makes no choices about what he will do or how he is to serve, is not recognized, appreciated, thanked or even (except by his absence) noticed at all.

Once we give up our slavery to the world, which is a cruel master indeed, to become Christ’s bondslave, we live out our servitude to Him by glad service to others. This volunteer slavery cannot be taken advantage of–we have chosen to surrender everything for love. It is a wholly different thing from forced labor. It is in fact the purest joy when it is most unobserved, most unself-conscious, most simple, most freely offered.

Lord, break the chains that hold me to myself; free me to be your happy slave–that is, to be the happy foot-washer of anyone today who needs his feet washed, his supper cooked, his faults overlooked, his work commended, his failure forgiven, his griefs consoled, or his button sewed on. Let me not imagine that my love for You is very great if I am unwilling to do for a human being something very small.

I just had to share this devotion from Elizabeth Elliot that I read this morning. It’s so true. It’s one of the very real truths of life following Christ that one comes to understand and embrace…a truth that we were all once totally blind to and if it were told to us that following Christ is a volunteer slavery where we live out our servitude to Christ by gladly serving others we’d look sour and not understand it. Only once you’ve tasted the goodness of God for yourself can you take joy in things the world considers drudgery. You actual look for something you can do that is unseen and unappreciated and you desire to do it as though you did it for Christ Himself. Why? Because His heart now resides in you and the heart of God takes joy in going low to raise someone else up. He takes joy in washing dirty feet when no one else would touch that job? He does not need recognition, He knows who He is, He desires to lift YOU up!

The more I meditate on this the more I take joy in homemaking and mothering and in being a wife. It’s my “volunteer slavery.”


  1. Excellent. The idea of “voluntary slavery” is one to really meditate on, and pray about how God would have us practically live this out in our daily lives. Thank you!

  2. e-Mom says:

    Yes, we are truly slaves of Christ. I love Elisabeth Elliot’s devotions. Funny… my latest post is about EE too. :~D

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