Serving makes me happy. This is selfish, but it’s true – serving is key to my happiness. I love the feeling that comes with helping someone. Helping a first-time guest at church find a seat or the bathroom makes me happy. Handing a homeless person a meal makes me happy. Hanging out with kids that live in a rough neighborhood makes me happy. God has blessed me with his overwhelming love; it’s the least I can do to share it. I get to serve!
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” – Galatians 5:13-14 NLT
You can serve on a mission trip, or you can serve your local community.
Short-term mission trips give you a chance to take a break from your busy reality and focus on serving others every day for about a week. Mission trips help put your life in perspective. They open your eyes to how other people live with less than what you have. They give you a reminder of how grateful you should be for what God’s blessed you with. Your life is forever changed after a mission trip! If you do go on a mission trip, hang on to the fire you feel once you return home because every day is a mission!
Serve your city! Churches host annual serve days for congregants to participate in outreaches throughout their city. Companies host volunteer days for employees to give back to the community. Take advantage of these opportunities. Then, turn an annual volunteer opportunity into something that you do quarterly or monthly.
You can serve at your church.
We each have different gifts and talents. Some people are very creative and are good at taking photos or creating flyers, and others work really well with babies or kids. Some people have the gift of praying for and encouraging others. All of these gifts matter; use the gifts that God has given you!
My gift is in guest services. Do you have a favorite grocery store? Is it your favorite because of the prices or because of the atmosphere? For me, it’s because of the atmosphere. The welcoming faces, the excellent customer service. When people are walking into a church for the first time, they should feel welcomed. I love being about to do that with a simple smile or a high five!
All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is part of it. – 1 Corinthians 12:27 NIV
Serving others is not a burden.
If serving feels like a burden or something to check off an annual to-do list, check your heart and your motive. Serving looks different for everyone. Start by carrying a positive attitude into your workplace and your everyday life. Say hello to your neighbor. Ask your cashier how their day is going. At the end of the day, it all boils down to love.
Above all, love each other deeply because love covers a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides so that in all things, God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power forever and ever. Amen. – 1 Peter 4:8-11 NIV