Why Do We Serve?
Why Do We Serve?
by Josh Pearson
Why do you serve?
One of my all-time favorite moments in the life of Christ is the example he set when he knelt down to wash the filthy, stinking feet of his disciples. The imagery of the teacher, the master, the High Priest, the Savior, the Messiah, the Son of God (I think you get the point) humbling himself to serve his disciples in this way just blows my mind. It is these moments of servanthood and selflessness that implore me to want to mirror the life of Jesus. Easier said than done, right?
Upon reflection of why I serve, I had to step back and think about what that has looked like in my life and ponder what motivated me to serve in those ways. A huge factor for me was to witness the ways in which my parents served others. Both in the church as well as the community, they always seemed to find needs and meet needs of those around them. This translated to me jumping in (sometimes willingly and sometimes not so willingly) to help serve alongside them. One conclusion I quickly came to was that the attitude behind the serving really is what makes all the difference. Whether I was helping with the lawn care at the church or voluntarily shoveling snow from neighbors’ driveways or greeting people as I held the door, one thing was crystal clear: my attitude mattered. And that attitude was a direct result of what was motivating me to not just see the need, but to desire to fill the need.
I know that my motivation should stem from the fact that I am called to serve, and that SHOULD be enough when I realize that serving is one of our missions as a Christ follower. BUT, it is so easy at times to allow our motivation in service to be a feel-good, check-it-off-the-list, I-have-done-my-duty kind of reason. So, I think a key for me was and is to always check my motivation and seek to serve with a selfless attitude (I still have quite a bit to work on with that). I always hope that my service for others is in direct correlation to the love I have for the Lord. I pray that it is an overflow of recognizing and understanding the life of Christ, the example he set, and his desire that we follow in his footsteps.
I think once my motivation and attitude check out, I tend to try to find ways to serve that I can feel excited about and where I believe God can use some of my strengths. As clichéd as it sounds, I encourage you to find those things that you are passionate about and see how they might fit into to serving others. Or figure out what some of the needs of those around you are—whether in the context of the church or in your surrounding community—and begin to pray that God would give you a passion and motivation to selflessly serve in those areas.
The last thing I want to say is that we can find a million reasons to not get involved and to not look for service opportunities—whether we do not feel adequate or we our struggling ourselves; and to that I would say that almost every time I have ever gotten involved in service, it has helped to liberate me from myself. Those struggles in my own life or excuses to not serve or selfish desires to focus on me always seem to melt away when I jump into service. So yes, while I am saying that our motivation and attitude in serving others should be checked, sometimes you just have to get out there and do it! Let’s look for needs and then fill those needs, and who knows … maybe someday you and I can end up arguing over who gets to do the feet-washing.
Josh and his family serve as Sunday morning greeters. We appreciate all of our volunteers who make such a huge difference through serving at Hershey Free. Get to know the Pearsons a little more by watching this video!