When many people hear the word “serve” they do not like to be the one who serves, but rather the one who is being served. I admit that there have been times in my life where I felt that way, even though I knew that this was not the way that Jesus called us to be.
The words that I spoke to one of my older children years ago still ring out in my memory along with the bad attitude that I had at the time: “I’m not your servant, you know!” Ouch!
Now granted, as parents who want to teach our children to serve like Jesus did, we do need to expect them to work and not be lazy. But there are other ways to do that besides getting angry at having been taken advantage of! 😦 One of the best ways to teach humility and service is by example. So, what I said on that day was actually an example of the OPPOSITE of what I wanted to teach that child.
“It shall not be this way among you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, … just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:26,28 BSB
“So if I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example so that you should do as I have done for you. Truly, truly, I tell you, no servant is greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him. If you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” John 13:14-17 BSB
As followers of Christ, he calls us to serve and to follow His example even to the point of suffering. (see also 1 Peter 2:21)
The strange thing about seeking happiness through being served is that that happiness always slips between one’s fingers and gets away. It is fleeting.
But serving others, while it may be hard and not glamorous, brings with it a sense of satisfaction. As Jesus said,
“You will be blessed if you do them.”
In fact, instead of fleeting happiness and that sense of never having truly attained it, Jesus promises His joy to those who obey His commandment to love one another as He has loved us. And He has loved us by serving and giving up His life in sacrifice for us.
“If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full.” John 15:10,11 NASB
So, today I am thankful for the privilege of serving God by serving others.
I’m thankful for the blessings that He gives when we do so.
I’m thankful for His joy which He gives us freely when we serve Him, walking in His unconditional, sacrificial love!
What about you? Are you okay with serving instead of being served? Are you quick to look for ways to be of service to those you are with, whether at home with your family or out serving others at your job? Are you a follower of Jesus? How would you like to do better at serving and loving others like He did?