Although my parents raised me well and did their best to teach me about the importance of service, I took the easier path of selfishness. Fortunately, when I was a freshman in college, I needed some community services hours for a class. I started serving at E-Soccer on Saturday mornings and I have never stopped since then (15 years ago). Here are 3 truths I have come to believe about service.
Service Requires Selflessness
3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. 5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.
Philippians 2:3-5 (NIV)
This scripture teaches us to be humble and selfless enough to value others above ourselves and to consider their interests. As a 17-year-old freshman in college, I initially didn’t want to sacrifice my Saturday mornings. But the simple decision to sacrifice those mornings had a significant impact on my life. I bonded and connected with the kids on the soccer field. I had just as much fun as they were having. Even though I was there to help, I feel like they ended up helping me learn how to prioritize caring for other people and see it as an opportunity….
Service Produces Happiness
35 In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”
Acts 20:35 (NIV)
It is more blessed to give than to receive and blessed means blissfully happy and contented. I felt so excited when I watched many of the kids with special needs develop, not only their soccer skills, but their ability to socialize with their friends. And it was equally as exciting to watch the parents enjoy their kids’ development. How often do you take time to serve others? If you want to increase your joy, increase your service.
Service Inspires Others
14 “You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.
Matthew 5:14-16 (NLT)
Of all the people most impacted by service, it is the parents. They are often overwhelmed with awe and gratitude by the volunteers who sacrifice their time and help their kids have a phenomenal time. They understand that many of the volunteers are young and could be using their time being selfish but instead choose to spend time with helping others. This kind of service inspires others to want to do good as well. What can you do to serve in your local community? There is always a need that is waiting to be met. Are you ready?