A MESSAGE FROM OUR CHAPLAIN | SERVING OTHERS TO IMPROVE YOUR SPIRITUAL JOURNEY
BY JEFF KRUITHOFF
For those of us in the northern part of the United States, Canada and Europe, we have entered the fall season when we see things leave the colorful stage of fall and start to show signs of the coming winter months. For some, this is a favorite time of the year as we leave the heat of summer, and enjoy the cooler days of wearing sweaters, jeans and boots, AND FOOTBALL!!! For other’s we find this time of the year very depressing as we leave the long days of summer fun and activities behind us.
The Chaplain article in this issue we will finish our discussion of Service as one of the five areas of concentration in our spiritual walk. We have reviewed Solitude and Scripture previously and will delve into Support and Significant events as we enter 2020.
I mentioned in an earlier article about how much I felt taking time deliberately concentrating on serving others has changed my personal and spiritual life. Please do not draw a conclusion that your service needs to be like a part time job. You do not need to spend hours a day or full days in the week to feel the benefit of service. Merely helping someone else in an act of Christian concern with a small task where many hands makes light work can be very beneficial. Particularly if the person you are helping is a person who has not experienced the blessings we have, or is even suffering from the consequences of some poor decisions they have made in their life. In other words, do not look for or expect meaningful benefits from helping a fortune 500 executive. Instead, look for helping the disadvantaged or even damaged persons in your circle of influence.
If you choose to serve others to increase meaning in your spiritual life, you will experience two immediate benefits from participating in the service of others. The first is that the service will become a little addicting because you will feel so rewarded. Not in a concrete or material sense, but instead you will experience a humbling emotion of complete fullness when you are finished. Remember you are participating in service to model how Jesus served others. I.e. Jesus washing the feet of his disciples.
I am very blessed in recent years to have observed a great group of people who routinely serve others as volunteers for Samaritans Purse. They serve homeowners who have had their homes damaged by disastrous storms at many places around our country. Many of these wonderful people started with just a short period of serving homeowners and felt so benefited by the experience, they now routinely volunteer to serve Samaritans Purse many times a year. I am humbled to see these people, many older than I, mudding out a home, tarping a roof, or performing other difficult physical tasks. They continue to serve strangers, in this manner, because the experience can be so rewarding. Many of them call it addictive.
The second benefit derived from the regular service of others is that the concept of service will stop being based in obligation and can start to be based on your love of others. Just as Jesus has directed us to love our neighbor as ourselves, we can begin to base our service life on this commandment.
Ask yourself, do you serve your spouse or family out of obligation or out of love. I would hope that most of us would say out of love. I can say with great confidence that if you engage in the regular service of others, you will being to serve others out of that same place of love rather than a feeling of obligation. It will take time, and you may need to experiment around with different service opportunities, but it is not an elusive or impossible goal. Galatians 5:13, “For you have been called to liberty…..through love serve one another.” NKJV
I remember when my wife first started to serve at our Church. She chose to work with 2 year olds in the Children’s ministry. I was serving on the safety team. One service I walked back to see how she was getting along and she was holding four two year old children. Two were crying hysterical, and the others were clinging to her as if they were terrified. Although I could not help but laugh, my wife had an absolute look of exasperation on her face. Shortly after this experience, she expressed that working with 2 years old children was not her gift and she found another place to serve that she finds much more rewarding.
So do not give up if your first effort at serving others does not work out. Keep trying. I am certain you will not be disappointed when you find your place of service.
Mark 10:45 – “…for even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” NKJV
Thanks to those of you who continue to comment on our Quest for Excellence in our Spiritual life. Solitude, Scripture, Service, Support, and Significant Events. I appreciate it.
Until next time, God Bless.
Contact me at email@example.com
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