Sunday, October 26, 2014

The Habit of Service

We've been doing a series the last few weeks called 14 Habits of Highly Effective Disciples. This week we come to the habit, or perhaps discipline if you're so inclined, of service.

Now, most folks who have been associated with the Christian community for any length of time won't be surprised that serving others is something that Christians would encourage. I suspect the actual practice of serving others might be a bit spotty, and I'm sure there's lots to criticize, but the fact remains...serving others is near the core of living as a Christian.

So why do we serve more poorly than we might like? Perhaps it has to do with us taking an overly simple view of service. The easiest way for us to serve is to give away something we have in abundance; time, money, accumulated stuff, etc. We feel good about helping and maybe simplify our lives a bit in the process. Not a thing wrong with that, but I think there's more to service.

I think the answer might be in looking at the difficulty of being served ourselves. Most people are uncomfortable with accepting charity from others. Maybe it's our cultural upbringing, or maybe it's simple pride. We like to think we can do everything on our own. Given this predisposition, how would someone serve us best? Maybe if I can figure out the answer to that question I can serve others more effectively. After all, serving others is more about the needs of the other than it is about the service I give.