Since when are things–like personal agendas–more important than people?
Never have been, yet we live that way.
With a husband, three kids, a business, and a schedule on wheels, there are countless times I’ve ignored the phone, been too busy or just felt too overwhelmed to check in on longtime friends, new acquaintances or even family members.
No matter how good our intentions, it’s pretty selfish to repeatedly fall into a cycle of putting things above people–things like meetings, moods, deadlines, plans, conditions, desires, events and more.
God’s law commands that we love others as we love ourselves. This stresses the value and priority we should place on “other people.” One way to love on others with the love of God is to serve them.
Jesus spent His precious time on the earth loving and serving people. His purpose was the Ultimate Sacrifice, which was in fact the Ultimate Act of Servanthood.
It’s hard to shut people out and love them at the same time. When we serve others, we serve God.
Here’s a quick list to help keep things in perspective:
Serve Not to be Seen. Check your motives. Serving others is a selfless act, not a self-centered one.
Step Outside the Box. When we think of serving others, the traditional ministry volunteering often comes to mind. But we can also serve people by simply reaching out to express genuine concern and interest in their well being.
Persevere. There may be times when people you serve are not very receptive, grateful or appreciative. Forego your expectations, continue on, and put emphasis on the act of serving in love, not the recipient.
Set the Tone. Be humble, yet serve with authority and passion. Let God’s love create the atmosphere to be fruitful, productive and effective.
Be Consistent. There’s never been a shortage of people who could use a listening ear, an extra eye or a helping hand. Let your act of service be ongoing, not just for a season.
Accept the Timing. Remain open. Serving others will almost always inconvenience you. Push past yourself and heed the call to help others when it comes.
Don’t Wait. Perfect conditions will never exist. Decide on an act of service and do it today.
Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 1 Peter 4:10
–by Lisa Birch