“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.” Galatians 5:13
One of the marks the most actively growing churches is a heart for mission. We preach constantly that we are serve the less fortunate, give of our time and our treasure to serve those who have not yet come to Christ. We are called to participate in ministry and worship with a servant’s heart, focused on the needs of others above our own. Yet our focus solely on serving brings an imbalance into our relationship with Christ and into our relationship with the body of the church.
Christ did indeed command us to serve others, He specifically demonstrated that even though He was the Son of God He was willing to serve those He had come to lead. He also allowed Martha to serve Him. He allowed His feet to be anointed with oil. He allowed His disciples to procure food and accommodations in their travels and for the Last Supper. There are numerous instances where Christ was served by those around Him, just as there were numerous instances where He served His disciples and where He served those who had not yet come to know God. This balance is necessary to keep us from pride in our lives.
What happens when we only have servants in the church, but no one is willing to be served? The needs of the world outside the church might be met, but the needs of the children of God are left unattended. We become separated from one another in our hearts because either through pride or through guilt we feel we cannot share our burdens. Often we find ourselves feeling alone in the midst of our families. Worse, we become prideful, believing that we can bear whatever burden we are carrying alone. We fail to remember that God scatters His Gifts among all His children like treasures. He does indeed do this so that we can serve, but that is only useful if we are also allowing ourselves to be served so that others may use the Gifts they have been given to build up the body of Christ.
Are you having financial struggles today that you haven’t shared or asked for help with because there are so many others who need help more than you? Are you carrying the burden of illness or depression alone because you don’t want to bother anyone with your troubles? Are you a leader trying to carry the responsibility of your job on your own? Is your marriage in trouble? Are your children drifting away into the world? What burden are you carrying where you need to be served? Pray for God’s guidance and then set aside pride, guilt or feelings of being a burden to others and share you need. It is an opportunity for someone else’s Gifts to be used, the body to be build up and God’s glory to shine. Be blessed and be a blessing.
Daddy, sometimes in this world where we are encouraged to be independent and free we forget that You did not call us to be alone. Sometimes in this world where there are so many needs and so many hurts, we forget that we are called to share our joys and our burdens with one another so that every need can be met through the power of the Holy Spirit. Please open our hearts today to share the needs You have given us so that others will be led to share theirs and the whole body can serve one another in love. We pray this in the Name of the one who first served us, Jesus Christ, Amen.