Hello everyone! We’re going to be in our series on Serving again today, but we’re going to take a look at serving from a different angle. So far we’ve discussed the call to serve, the importance of avoiding the desire to be the “fixer” of others, and how some people don’t want to be served. Every post so far has touched on this theme of serving not being about us. I’m hesitant to say this next phrase, but sometimes serving is about us.
We shouldn’t serve out of selfish desires or with any unhealthy motives and when we serve out of God’s call in our lives we may not experience any worldly rewards. However, if we’re listening, God is often speaking to us as we serve and in this sense, it is about we who are serving as well as those who are being served. All day long God is guiding and shaping us and He doesn’t stop when we’re serving. In fact, it’s when serving others that we may see some of our biggest deficiencies. God can open our eyes to areas we need to grow in, but we need to be paying attention.
Sometimes we can over-correct and in efforts to not serve others out of selfishness or a paternalistic mindset, we can make serving too much about those being served and forget that those doing the serving need to grow too. Often God uses these experiences to shape us to be more like Him; and often, the areas He wants to grow us in reflect virtues such as the fruit of the spirit.
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self-control. Galatians 5:22-23a
Let’s apply this verse to how we approach serving. How often do we fully live up to each of these characteristics? Now, take some time to reflect on when you’ve volunteered or gone on a mission trip: what did God teach you, did He show you personal weaknesses in any of these virtues? How did He grow you through that experience?