“Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength that God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen." —1 Peter 4:8-11
Being a servant means putting the interests of others above your own. And, as the scripture says, do it with the "strength that God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ."
For many of us that come out an African-American construct, a past and an ancestry where there was slavery this can be a "hard pill to swallow" as a great ideal. Especially since in our history, even in the Jim Crow and Civil Rights era we were still in a service capacity. When the pendulum swung and our parents came of age, we went into this anti-service or anti-serving mindset. As it often happens socially, the pendulum swung all the way in the opposite direction.
So hearing the word "serve" does not always sit well. But, let me disarm you. We are all made to serve. That was God’s plan and intention for mankind. There have been many throughout the history of the world that have misused and abused this. But, we are made to serve each other and to put the interest of others above our own.
If you’ve been in Christian circles any length of time you have heard, "The way to find real JOY is Jesus first, others second and yourself last." However, we live in this meme culture where we read something quickly, sounds plausible, agrees with some place in my spirit and I click, “LIKE”. And, then if we’re really motivated we re-post it.
We see memes like:
Do what makes you happy
The problem with putting others first is you’ve taught them you come last
Never feel bad for putting yourself first
Sounds good. Sounds plausible. Agrees with a broken place in my spirit, so I'm going to press "LIKE". But, is that Biblical?
We can allow culture to fashion and dictate our belief system. When as believers we should be reading our Bibles and studying the life of Jesus to determine the right way to think and the right way to be. We want to develop the mind of Christ. Here's what the Bible says...
In everything, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus Himself: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.
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.
Sitting down, Jesus called the Twelve and said, “If anyone wants to be first, he must be the last of all and the servant of all.”
A generous soul will prosper, and he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.
The greatest among you shall be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.
Are you feeling like you’re made to serve? Or are you still unsure?