Our pastor preached on Philippians 2:1-4 recently. As he talked about serving, these questions hit me personally.
- Will I serve without being recognized?
I’ve been guilty of serving for the recognition I might get. Whenever I do, I feel soiled, like my soul is dirty. Lord, forgive me for this. Let me serve for Your recognition alone.
- Will I serve though I might be dishonored?
Should I serve when the people I serve actually strike out at me? That’s crazy! But wait a minute. Isn’t this exactly what Christ did? Didn’t the people He came to serve attack and belittle Him? Lord, help me to have Christ’s attitude about serving.
- Will I regard others as more important than I am?
I set out to do this, agreeing in my mind that others are more important. But when I act, I so often wind up taking care of my own interests. If others are more important, then my actions should reflect that.
- Will I serve even if it’s not in my own personal interest?
Most of the time I decide how and when to serve based on personal desires. I usually only serve where I feel comfortable and in control. I stay away from serving in ways I am not good at. But what if God shows me a need in an area where I am not particularly equipped? His will, or mine?
- Will I serve when it only benefits the one(s) I am serving?
What if my service is all a one-way street, and it never comes back to me? What if I get no pat on the back, no ‘honorable mention?’ Is the knowledge that I’m following Christ’s example enough for me?
- Will I preserve the harmony of the church in the way that I serve?
Some people serve yet leave a wake of muttering, complaining, and agitating behind them. They drop little seeds of discord by saying “This could have been done so much better” or “We did this so much better last year.” Lord, don’t let me do that.
- Does my church service elevate the value of all the church’s ministries, or just the one I love?
When true servants work in the church, there is benefit not only to one area, but also to the church at large. Just as the first deacons waited tables, yet the whole church grew, a true servant makes the whole body function better. A true servant doesn’t serve in a spirit of competition, lifting one ministry but dragging down others.
Lord, let me serve as purely as You served Your Father.