The Heart Behind Serving
I love the Hope Week Projects I got to be a part of just a couple weeks ago! I know as a working mom my schedule is tight and extra time is hard to come by. DJ and I are trying to raise our kids by teaching through actions as well as words and this was a great, fun way for us to be able to dedicate a few hours to give back and serve together as a family. If I’m being honest, it made me feel good about myself, like I did enough for that day, checked the box and done! And quite frankly, I hate that I’m chasing that feeling; the need to feel satisfaction, the need to be appreciated, the need to be recognized. I don’t want any of those reasons to be the reason I serve. Or how I teach my kids to serve.
I want to serve so I stay humble
I spend way too much of my time already focused on me. When I serve others, it requires me to take the focus off of me and give of my time, energy, talents, resources, for the gain of someone or something else. It’s no longer me focused on me doing things for me. Philippians 2:3 says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves.” Am I willing to value others above myself by serving my husband when he forgets to take out the trash….again? When I have to tell my kids the same thing for the hundredth time? When I’m in Walmart and in a rush and really don’t have time to talk to someone in the aisle? I don’t want serving to be something that I do. I want serving to be so embedded in the fabric of who I am, because I have Christ in me, that it’s something I can’t help but do! Serving in small ways that may seem inconsequential are the building blocks for the life of service God wants each one of us to live. Where serving is so second nature that we just do it instead of thinking about it. Our first thought becomes for others over ourselves.
I want to serve to become more like Jesus
It took me many years after becoming a Christ follower to really understand that in order to become more like Christ I truly had to start serving like Him. I thought the more I knew, the better Christian I could become. But James says that faith without action is dead. Just knowing the Bible doesn’t show Christ’s love. It couldn’t have moved my heart any closer to Jesus when I didn’t know Him. But generosity and compassion, being so countercultural nowadays, can be the greatest sermon you can give to a hardened heart.
In Philippians 2:5-8 Paul writes, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” Jesus didn’t use His position as God the Son for His own advantage. He humbly chose to be obedient to God the Father to serve me and you by dying on the cross. This is the kind of service I’m called to imitate! Death to self, doing God’s purpose, to serve others. Jesus will never call me to do something He’s not already done! I just need to be willing to follow Jesus’ example.
Some days I am just amazed at how much God loves me! I just can’t get over it! I know who I was before I accepted Jesus and who He’s made me into now. And every day I get to thank Him again and again for calling me to be His child!