The discipline of service is the road to humility. One cannot just plan to be humble. Seeking humility goes nowhere. But as soon as you seek to be a servant to another, you humble yourself. You place another before you and that is humility.
At the Last Supper, Jesus set this discipline before them. He first knelt down and washed their feet as did a house servant of that day did for their master when he come home from work. To be the greatest is to be the servant of all. He came to serve and not to be served.
To serve someone else does not automatically fulfill the discipline. One can serve with a desire of getting recognition for their work. This is not the type of service that Jesus is talking about. This is self-service. The need to be rewarded in any way, even just a kind word, is self-gratifying. This is another way of having control over when, where, and how you serve.
To be a servant of another is to be out of control of the situation. It means being called out of your routine schedule or plans and putting what is in front of you and serving another ahead of your own desires. What greater gift can a person give than to lay down their life for another? This is usually unplanned. Better yet, it is one thing to help someone you like or figure that you will get something in return. Help someone you do not like or know is unable to return the favor.
The beauty of this discipline is that it calls us out of ourselves. The desires of the flesh or world are in a constant pull for our attention. To serve God daily is to begin each day seeking to serve God anywhere that we can be of service. The emphasis is upon serving God. To serve the neighbor in the smallest of way is to serve God, even giving a drink of water to another.
Keeping God in the center of our thoughts is critical to this discipline. When we are able to do this we have a better chance of winning the tug-of-war with sinful selfishness and experiencing the joy of being in communion with God.
But to be clear, being a servant to another does not mean you will never be hood winked or walked on. Jesus was the greatest servant of all and it got him killed. But he did it out of love. The same is true for us. If we serve out of love and serve another with the understanding that we are serving God, and we are walked on, God will bless our humility. We will walk humbly with our God.