“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms” (1 Pt 4:10). 

We reap from others what we sow into their lives. In service we actively and willingly employ our gifts and resources to meet the needs of others so we might train ourselves in the selflessness of Christ. We serve others, not merely because it will meet another’s need, but because it promotes Christlikeness in us.

  1. Service strengthens the weak and frees us from resentment. Those whose service is relatively unnoticed know the value of their efforts because every act is an act of “serving the Lord Christ” (Col 3:23-24; see also Deut 13:4). At the end of the day we serve an audience of “One.” Mundane tasks, therefore, become our greatest endeavors because we serve others as if serving Christ himself. And so, when we “do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus” (Col 3:17) there’s no chance for resentment to creep in, since what we do is for Christ and not merely for others.
  2. Service weakens the strong and frees us from arrogance. Anyone, and especially those in positions of leadership and authority, can easily view their status as more important than it really is, or tacitly permit others to do so. Jesus challenges “greatness” by showing us that the way up is really the way down (Mt 20:25-28). “Greatness” in Jesus’s kingdom is measured by selfless service. Ironically, the terms “minister” or “pastor” originally meant “helper” or “shepherd”, but have come to be seen as a badge of honor or prestige. Yet Jesus cries, “It shall not be so among you!” To be “great” is to live as a servant and vice versa. There’s no room for superiority or conceit among God’s children because there’s only room for one King in the kingdom.
  3. Service frees us from the pitfalls of pretense and performance traps. With our singular orientation toward Christ, we serve at the feet of others (Jn 13:14-15) where the only quality that matters is humility. With service we refuse the call to honor or notable recognition (Pr 15:33). Instead, we are free to count others better than ourselves, eager for their success rather than pursuing our own (Philip 2:3-4).
  4. Service helps us maintain objectivity and find our “fit” in the Body of Christ (Rom 12:3-8; 1 Cor 12:12-31). In one sense, all of the spiritual gifts are gifts of service, so we no longer need to be in control because “each of us needs all the others” in Christ’s Body (Rom 12:5, NLT).

P.S. Why not post on all-things-Christmas this season? Well, in a sense this is about Christmas. After all, the greatest gift given to us or that we can offer to others is the gift of service. “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mk 10:45).

Spread the word (please & thank you) 

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