I’m currently working my way through Dave Furman’s Being There, a book which really builds a theology of walking with people through suffering. Nestled in chapter 5, which is about Serving Like Jesus, are some questions to diagnose your heart (questions that help get at why you may be struggling to serve a hurting friend or family member). Wowzers…here goes:
- Do I get upset if no one recognizes me for my service?
- Am I ever inconvenienced in my service?
- Do I feel too embarrassed to be treated like a servant?
- Do I complain about the ministry of serving others that God has given me?
Here’s the helpful remedy…
“Maybe you’ve asked yourself those questions and you realize that you’re struggling at serving in a way that honors Christ. How do we get the strength to do this? On our own, selfless Christlike service is impossible and unattainable. We can only love in these ways because God first loved us. We can humble ourselves because God humbled himself. Jesus came not be served, but to serve, and while we were still sinners, he gave his life as a ransom for many (Mark 10:45).
“We can go low in service because in Christ we are eternally rich. We can be nothing, because we know that apart from Christ we are nothing. But through the life and death of Christ we’ve been given everything we have as a gift. Your significance, security, and eternal glory are yours without the risk of losing it. This same gospel that encourages the hurting needs to be rehearsed in your own mind and heart. Remembering this truth fuels your service especially in the difficult situations you find yourself in. Only then can you turn and do the most menial tasks without caring what others will think about you. Only then can you share healing words of encouragement again and again because the gospel is always true. Only then can you find the energy to serve in unique ways out of true love for the hurting that comes not from their acceptance of you but from your acceptance in Christ. Only then can you serve like Jesus. (Locations 1111-1121 in the Kindle Version)
So, because of the amazing reality that is ours in Jesus, will you move out to the hurting?