“We’re going to go help serve dinner on Sunday at the Salvation Army!” my husband exclaimed to me with enthusiasm.
“Um, what?” I asked.
He explained that a group of his coworkers were getting together to serve a meal, and he had volunteered both of us. I was not looking forward to it.
Unfortunately, my attitude didn’t improve over time.
When the day arrived, I was nervous and wished I could be doing something else. My husband, who really loves to serve, tried to reassure me, but it didn’t work. When we got there, I tried to work (er . . . hide) in the kitchen as much as possible. My husband finally took me into the eating area and introduced me to the couple he was talking to. They were really nice, but the entire situation felt awkward.
I realize this story doesn’t make me sound like the world’s greatest Christ-follower, so why am I sharing it with you?
- Do you ever look around your church and feel like every other Christian there loves serving?
- Like you should be jumping at every chance to serve and participating in every service project?
- Or that serving should bring you immense fulfillment?
The truth is, serving isn’t always fun. Sometimes we serve simply to obey and the result is not a big spiritual high. If you ever find yourself dreading serving others, remember these truths.
1. We serve because Jesus served.
Mark 10:45 states, “‘For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.’”
Jesus’ ultimate act of service was to die on the cross for our sins. It is clear from His prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane that He was not looking forward to doing this, but He did it; He was obedient to what God had called him to do. When we choose the path of obedience, we choose to be like Christ.
2. We serve because God asks us to.
Galatians 5:13 states, “You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (NIV, emphasis mine).
Service requires humility. We have to get over what we want, the ways we prefer to spend our time, and the kinds of situations that make us feel awkward. Christ has set us free! God asks us to use that freedom to serve others.
3. We serve because we love God.
Hebrews 6:10 says, “For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love that you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do” (emphasis mine).
Do you love God? Good! Show Him by serving His people.
Serve to Obey
Service can be a wonderful experience, but sometimes it may not leave you fulfilled. Just remember that when it may not be the best experience, you are ultimately still being obedient to God’s call, and He will honor your efforts (John 12:26).
Have you ever participated in a service project you didn’t enjoy?
On the other hand, what was your favorite service experience?
Let us know below!