Matthew 20:28 (NLT)
For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Serving and giving to others is the heartbeat of the Christian life. As believers, it is not just our duty to serve, it is a great privilege and the highest honor. Too many of us think that service is for other people. But nothing could be further from the truth. Service is not for other people, it is for us to do in every single aspect of our lives. It isn’t something to be tacked on at the end of a long day; it is what we do in every day.
Jesus set the perfect example for us to follow. If it were all just for himself, he could have very well not even come to earth and gone through all the hard and painful experience of being vilified and betrayed and then dying for the entire world including his perpetrators. But service is both humility and maturity. We can be said to be growing spiritually when we willingly choose to dedicate our lives to fulfill the needs of other people.
A lot of times, we are so busy trying to find ourselves, trying to get ahead and do better that we lose ourselves in the process. We spend twenty years learning and growing, doing and being, trying to impress and influence that we never get around to doing what God has called each of us to do. And that is to serve with our whole hearts — completely, fully, and unconditionally. We grow in order to give; we learn in order to serve; we live in order to benefit the world around us.
If we’re not giving and serving and benefiting other people, we are essentially dead. Our life isn’t worth very much under those conditions. The Dead Sea and the Sea of Galilee are opposite of each other. One is dead because it bears no life; the other is alive because it is abundant in giving life to living things. What we need more than anything else, even above more Bible study and church meetings, is experiences in serving. We need to know what it feels like deep on the inside to bring joy to someone else’s life.
What do you think the world would be like if we all sought to meet the needs of others? What would your relationships be life if you weren’t looking for someone to bless you and instead aimed to bless others? Serving is the opposite of a me-first mentality. It allows us to find ourselves by thinking of others. When you have all you need in Christ, then it becomes your due responsibility to give all you can. The more you serve and there you give, the more God ensures people are there to serve you and give back to you. After all, it’s not about how long you live, but how deeply you live.
As you become more like Christ, intentionally look for ways in which you can serve. Look for opportunities in which you can give and make a difference in the life of someone else. Don’t worry about who’s going to meet your needs. Get concerned with the needs of someone else that you can meet. You see when you do things for other people, your life takes on a whole new meaning. It isn’t just about existing because it’s not about you. It’s about really living because it’s all about others.
“The most obvious lesson in Christ’s teaching is that there is no happiness in having or getting anything, but only in giving.”
— Henry Drummond