Monday, August 22, 2011

Doing vs. Serving

I’m a doer.  I’m quite certain both of my parents are to blame responsible for this, although this quality is not necessarily something that is entirely negative.  In fact, being a doer is a positive thing in many ways.  But, like many other attributes, it also has it’s downfalls. 

As Christians we are called to serve.  We serve Christ, first and foremost, and in the name of Christ we serve others – our church, our friends, our families, our neighbors, perfect strangers even. 

Serving does not come easy to everyone, including me.  It may seem strange that a self-proclaimed doer struggles to serve Christ and others, but doing is not the same as serving. 

“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people…”
                                                                 Ephesians 6:6-8

Serving should be more about Christ than anything else.  I’m a list maker.  In fact, when making lists I often write things down that I’ve already done, just so I can cross them off and feel good about what I’ve accomplished so far.  (Bigger confession… when I get marking up-coming things on the calendar, I’ll even go back and fill in things that have already happened – that meeting last week, nursery duty 2 days ago, playdate 2 weeks ago.  There’s no need for this… I just get some sort of satisfaction out of it…)  Serving has little do with lists, and much to do with the heart.  It’s not so much of the “to do” but more about the “who”. 

“…The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”                                                                            Matthew 20:28

Serving involves sacrifice.  Christ is the ultimate example of this.  Isaiah prophesied that “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet did not open his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7)  How many of us as we serve in the name of Christ utter complaints about how things are done or who we are serving or serving alongside?  Or maybe we serve begrudgingly because there is no one else to do it or we want it done right.  Serving Christ is not an opportunity to feed our own egos and pat ourselves on the back.  It should always be seen as an opportunity to sacrifice in the name of Christ and with the same attitude as Christ. 

“Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair.  And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.”
                                                                        John 12:3

Serving Christ and others is a means of worshiping God.  Mary anointing the feet of Jesus is just one of many beautiful examples found throughout Scripture of worship through service.  Worship God as you serve.  Make your serving as much about Christ as possible. 

It’s hard to believe that fall is just around the corner.  I know for my family, we’re getting ready for lots of upcoming church events, and many ministries that stop during the summer months will begin again in the coming weeks.  Many of you may be anticipating similar things.  Pray for the ministries that you will be in and the ministries that God is leading you to start for the first time. Serve God in each ministry you find yourself involved in; don’t allow sacrifice to become a barrier to serve; and take time as you serve to worship God. 

“Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be.  My Father will honor the one who serves me.”
                                                                                                 John 12:26
~ Carrie ~

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