Choose to serve or choose to be a servant?
I was inspired by the heart and passion of our church family this past Sunday night. Over 140 boxes were prepared for families in Dyer County. That’s 140 families that will be impacted for the name of Christ. I pledge to you that every time I give a box to someone, I will share how members of this church gave with the love and heart of Christ. I will take the opportunity to let them know that we are just paying forward the blessings of our Lord.
Richard Foster in his book Celebration of Discipline has an amazing chapter on Christian service. He has some really great thoughts that I would like to share. Foster defines the difference between choosing to serve and choosing to be a servant.
When you choose to serve, you are still in charge. You serve on your terms. You can serve once a week, once a month, or just whenever you feel like it. You can choose to give sacrificially or out of abundance, but it is still a decision to give when you want to. While good, this is not truly being a servant. Most Christians choose to serve this way.
But when you choose to be a servant you give up every right to be in charge. You decide to be a servant—every day, all the time. You may have to serve when you don’t want to or feel like it. Someone may approach you for money or help and you don’t have time to deal with it. When we choose to be a servant, we surrender the right to decide who and when we will serve. We are servants, and no matter when, what, or where, we serve. Wow, that is tough!
Actually, there is great freedom in this. If we voluntarily choose to be a servant, we are choosing to be taken advantage of. We cannot be manipulated. Someone may take advantage of what we do or give, but we have already made the decision to be a servant so we literally CANNOT be taken advantage of. We become available and vulnerable as servants of the King.
These are challenging thoughts, but I want to be a servant for Christ—every day, all the time. The result of that choice is time-consuming, costly, and difficult. But how can we not serve like Christ? –C.Fry