Paul defines serving in Philippians 2:3-4. He says,
- DON’T be selfish
- DON’T live to try and make a good impression on others
- DON’T think only about your own interests, but be interested in others, too, and what they are doing
- DON’T think that you are better than other people, be humble
I think Paul’s definition is interesting. Instead of telling people to do, do, do, having a what’s in it for me attitude, we’re told instead, don’t, don’t, don’t. Reinforcing others before ourselves. Reinforcing that we will experience joy through serving. Through sacrifice and humbling ourselves. As we bless others, we are being blessed in ways we would never have thought possible.
HERE’S AN EXAMPLE MY FRIEND, SARAH (NOT HER REAL NAME), SHARED WITH ME —
Sarah began bringing over meals to Pam (not her real name), who was diagnosed with cancer. Pam shared with Sarah how much her efforts meant to her and her family. She’s receiving healthy food, aiding in her recovery, as well as quality time with Sarah.
As a result of Sarah’s willingness to give her time to Pam, she has also been blessed. She’s learned to prepare delicious looking, and tasting, vegan food. She’s also found a confidant who has prayed with, and for her, as she’s going through her own emotionally difficult trials.
Although Sarah and Pam’s pain/suffering, are different, both woman have been blessed by each other in ways they could never have imagined. They may never have connected in this way if it weren’t for the pain/suffering each woman is experiencing.
Sarah put her own issues aside to care for her friend. And in her opinion, has been blessed far more than she’s been a blessing. And I bet if I talked to Pam she’d have the opposite response – Sarah has been far more of a blessing to her, than she’s blessed Sarah.
Isn’t following God’s ways interesting? 🙂
As we begin to look at experiencing joy in serving, we see that suffering and joy are sometimes connected. Pain/suffering is something God promises to go through with us, Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. – Psalm 23:4
We have an opportunity to serve and bless others, and in turn be blessed. Allow God to use your pain/suffering to make a difference in someone’s life.
2 Corinthians 1:4 —-
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