This is such a broad discipline, it’s hard to summarize it in one post, so I will be using two posts for the discipline of service.
First, I would like to distinguish the difference between self-righteous service and true service. I will be using references from Richard J. Foster’s Celebration of Discipline as well as my own notes.
- Self righteous service is mostly concerned with acts of service that will get noticed and are a big deal. It enjoys serving, especially when the service is titanic.
- True service does not concern itself with acknowledgment or the size of the act.
- Self righteous service acts based on moods and whims.
- True service acts faithfully because there is a need, despite it’s mood.
- Self righteous service is concerned about the glorification of an individual, fracturing community.
- True service builds community. It quietly goes about caring for the needs of others without concerning itself with the glorification of any person.
- Self righteous service comes through human effort and eventually wears out.
- True service comes from a Divine Source and does not tire or grow weary of doing good.
When I first wanted to get involved in ministry, I wanted to do the things that were at the forefront of the ministry, that people would notice and give me praise for. I wanted people to notice that I was serving. I soon realized that I was not getting the acknowledgment I was seeking and quit serving altogether.
As I grow deeper in my understanding of Christian service, I try not to concern myself with anything but simply caring for others and pleasing God. Of course, I am not even close to having achieved this perfectly, but I keep trying and in doing so, God blesses me with more opportunities to serve in a way that will bring blessings to both myself and others.
In the next post I will write about humility and door mats.