When we think of becoming a greater, kinder and more loving person it is going to require some action.What if we began our day asking ourself the question “How can I serve today?” “How can I be helpful to others today?”
When we take the time to ask this question the ideas will come to us. But the key is to understand that serving is not a one time effort, but a lifestyle, and way of thinking about life.
There is a great example of service in the bible in Genesis chapter 24.
Eliezer Abraham’s servant had been given the task of travelling across the countryside to find a wife for Isaac (Abraham’s son), from Abraham’s own family. It was an important responsibility and Eliezer wanted to pick the right young women. How, though, could Eliezer be secure in the knowledge that the woman he chose would indeed measure up to the standards of the Isaac?
To ensure that he would find the right young woman, Eliezer came up with a plan, called the “camel test”: After his long travels, Eliezer would ask a young maiden for a sip of water at the community well, and if she offered to provide water for his camels as well, she would be the one!
That same day Rebekah happened to be at the well, and on seeing the travellers immediately offered to draw water for them to drink, and then offered and drew water for all their camels.
Rebekah had the attitude of service, as she saw an opportunity to do something kind, and swiftly went to work. She didn’t question or consider whether she was really needed; instead, she energetically continued filling multiple troughs with water, until the job of satisfying a whole herd of thirsty camels was completed . She had one motivation: to give and serve someone else with kindness. That intense desire to reach out to others and to jump at the prospect of being of service matched the profile of a suitable, loving and caring wife for Isaac.
Rebekah’s story reminds us how powerful serving is, and that our attitudes really do matter. Not only does serving bless others, but it also changes our hearts and perspective; and often, as we can see in Rebekah’s story, it opens doors and brings favour into our lives. God sees, and honours our serving.
In a world where so many seek to get, and their focus is on themselves, it’s a breath of fresh air when someone stands up and simply serves. We can all be that person. “No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.” (Charles Dickens)
Jesus said “whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave — 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 20:26-27)
Servant hood is the condition or state of being a servant to others, rather than the service of self. It means willingly giving of oneself for and to others; doing whatever it takes to accomplish what is best for another.
Some of the most inspirational people in history were those who used their energies and abilities to serve. People like Florence Nightingale who volunteered to nurse soldiers during the Crimean War. The pitiful conditions and her statistical analysis helped to revolutionise the service of nursing and the treatment of patients.
Or Mother Teresa who sought to identify with, and offer compassion to the unloved and destitute. She lived a life of service to the poor.
It’s easy in our busy lives to forget to serve. We have our to do list and goals, and don’t like interruptions. But if we want our lives to be great, Jesus’ advice is for us to be a servant.
Paul added to this focus when he wrote, “Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but the interests of others as well” (Philippians 1:4).
It’s the simple things that we choose to do on a daily basis that teach us to have the attitude of service. The little quiet unnoticed acts of kindness for our spouse, family, workmate or a perfect stranger. Of being supportive, or simply taking the time to listen. Choosing to take the rubbish out when it’s not our turn, or helping and volunteering in some way.
Today, look at where you can serve someone else in some small way, and make a difference in both their lives, and yours.
Prayer: Lord please help me to discover the power and joy of serving. Show me where I can make a difference in some way today. In Jesus Name Amen.