Step 4: Serve.
There are countless verses on why we must serve others. Through this service to others, we serve our Father. One thing that I have learned through numerous trials and conversations with the Lord is that without serving others, I am nothing because when I’m not serving, I’m not loving, and when I’m not loving, I’m not being Christ-like. What good am I to anyone if I’m failing in that most basic of commands?
Too often we get so caught up in working on ourselves, that we forget that serving others benefits us more than total focus on ourselves could ever begin to do.
Why is that? Why is service such a major step in self-improvement?
Serving God by serving others serves you!
Nothing makes falling off the path easier than trying to walk it alone. Always take someone with you. Think about who’s taken you with them. Where would you be if they hadn’t? I know where I’d be, and it’s NOWHERE GOOD!
We should all be thankful for the ones who have helped lead us to our better by following the leading of God. Guess what? They’re thankful for us, too.
I can tell you from my few experiences working with youth in a way that means I’m the one taking them with me that those leading the way receive just as much as those who follow. I’ve learned so much about myself as a leader and as a Christian from each individual I have taught or led. We were not meant to walk this path entirely alone:
“I observed yet another example of something meaningless under the sun. This is the case of a man who is all alone, without a child or a brother, yet who works hard to gain as much wealth as he can. But then he asks himself, “Who am I working for? Why am I giving up so much pleasure now?” It is all so meaningless and depressing.
Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble. Likewise, two people lying close together can keep each other warm. But how can one be warm alone? A person standing alone can be attacked and defeated, but two can stand back-to-back and conquer. Three are even better, for a triple-braided cord is not easily broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:7-12 (NLT)
We strive to do better when we have someone to be better for.
We were called as disciples to lead others to Christ by acting like Christ.
Christ served his disciples; he served the people, despite the hate. We are called as a servants, not only to God but to our fellow man as a representation of God’s love.
“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Mark 10:45 (NIV)
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms.” 1 Peter 4:10 (NIV)
“And the King will say, ‘I tell you the truth, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!’” Matthew 25:40 (NLT)
The next big question: HOW do we serve?
People serve in all different ways – just like people worship in all different ways. I serve through my writing and through my connection with the youth, whether these youth are from church, camp, school, or work. You can serve in any way that fits you: helping a stranger, volunteering, talking to those who need a word, listening to those who feel unheard, or including those who feel forgotten. Service doesn’t have to require money:
- Offer an uplifting word when someone is feeling low.
- Ask someone if they’re okay or how their day is going and actually ACTIVELY listen to their answer.
- Pray for someone in need – whether for themselves or for another’s situation.
- BE A LIGHT.
You can serve without changing your daily activities; all you need to change is your attitude and the focus of your day. When you focus on God’s will throughout the day and maintain the positive attitude that comes with trust, others will notice the light shining through you. When you lay yourself open to God daily, you are opening the shutters of your spirit so that His can shine out.