Learning to Serve in a Me-Focused Culture

 

One of the defining characteristics of our culture is the selfish pursuit of pleasure. We often hear, “If you had fun, that’s the most important thing.” And we tend to understand life through the question, “How will it affect me?” But, in the Gospels, Jesus taught us to live in a radically different way. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.” (Matthew 16:24) Jesus calls us to deny our selfish desires and serve others instead. Philippians 2:4 commands us, “Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.” How can we learn to serve others? 

 

Read on for 3 steps to serving others in a me-focused culture.

1) Identify the right motivation for service.

Too often, people get burnt out because they are serving with the wrong motivation. Here are a few motivations that aren’t enough to last.

 

“I serve so that I don’t feel guilty.”

“I serve for the approval of others.”

“I serve because there is no one else to do it.”

 

There is only one sufficient motivation for serving others, and that is the love of Jesus Christ. In his book Before the Box, Pastor Jason Homan explains, “I see how much God loves me. Therefore, as an act of love toward Him, I will keep going.” At our church in Sydney Mines, we want to have the right motivation for serving others.

 

2) Be sensitive to the needs of the people around you.

Reverend John Watson (1850-1907) famously wrote, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Instead of focusing on your own problems, consider the struggles of others. Remember how Jesus took time to listen to people and love them? He wants you to do the same. You can offer a listening ear, a word of encouragement, and your prayers to others.

 

As God leads you, you may want to offer practical help as well. A home-baked meal, an hour of mowing the grass, or an invitation to dinner may mean a lot to a lonely person or a shut-in. Keep your eyes open for ways to serve, and remember that serving others starts at home. Make sure you’re serving your family first, and then branch out. 

 

3) Find strength in the right Person.

Serving others takes a lot of energy, love, and sacrifice. We can’t do it alone. The good news is that God doesn’t expect us to serve others in His strength. He tells us in Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” When we depend on Christ, we will have the strength we need each day.

 

In Mark 10:45, the Bible tells us, “For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.” In the midst of a me-focused culture, we can serve others instead of waiting to be served. We can encourage those who are weary, comfort those who mourn, and give to those in need. At our church in Sydney Mines, we want to serve others, just like Jesus did.

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Will you serve others, too? Join the friendly church family of Northside Baptist Church on Sundays at 11:00 am. 

For more information, call 902-304-4707 or email northside1178@gmail.com