Serving is like leadership, an art that is coiled in our day-to-day activities and we cannot run from it. Whether Christian or non-Christian, everyone is called to serve in one way or the other by the creator and he or she must own up to the call (Stott, 2002). Servant hood is, in fact, an obligation to all followers of Christ based on the Gospel of Mark 10: 45 (New International Version): “For even the Son of man did not come to be served, but to serve…” This shows that given we aim to live like Christ, serving is something we must accomplish. This can be reinforced by the teachings of Paul to the Romans that “we have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us” (Romans 12:6, NIV). Since the grace of God is to everyone, then it is automatic that based on Paul’s teaching, then, everyone is filled with a certain talent of serving somewhere. Serving is therefore a calling that we should faithfully embrace as a way of obeying God.
Everyone has a God given talent of what he or she can do best in his life. This talent is natural and makes one fulfilled in doing it. Not putting this talent to test is disobeying God’s purpose in you. It is like telling God that the talent He gave you is useless to you. Not serving may also be looked at as aimed to meet selfish interests which are against God’s will for humans (Philippians 2:3-4, NIV). According to Cope (1921), doing what one likes doing is meeting the needs of his/her talent. In this doing, however, we are called to impact on others positively. When one is talented in doing something, the drive behind him achieving that thing is normally very high. As such failures are dealt with adequately and the person finds it easy to perform the activity he/she is talented in.
The most catching question is how one can identify the talent in himself so that he or she serves at the right place where he/she can make the greatest effect. Stott (2002) contributes to this by arguing that many youth fail to serve in their different churches because they do not know where they can serve best. Indeed, Paul tells the Romans that people have different areas in which they are gifted: be it prophesying, serving, teaching, encouraging and giving (Romans 12: 6-8, NIV). In this explanation Paul points on to one way of identifying the gift allocated to a person. He says that in case one has a calling to prophesying, then, let him do that faithfully, diligently and cheerfully. In this it is implied that one should do that which he/she feels comfortable doing and actually one which he/she has skill to do. For instance, one cannot prophesy in faith and truth if he/she has no power to look into the future. This leads to the conclusion that if you have the gift of being able to foresee accurately according to the spirit of God, then you can prophesy. The same thing applies to the pother talents-one must have the skill to do them for him/her to practice that service. To support this, Wiersbe and Wiersbe (2010) consider joy as the main motivator towards serving. This means that serving must be influenced by the need to make one joyful.
Another way to identify ones area of service is by asking for God’s revelation through prayer. In the book of Philippians 4:6 (King James Version), it is written “Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God”. This explains that God is ready to hear our requests which can be made known to Him through prayer. Wiersbe and Wiersbe (2010) also agree that through prayer we can make our requests known to God and given that He is a god of love and just, he will always answer our prayers. In the same way we can ask of God the best place He wants us to serve.
Another way that hinders people from making a good service is lack of courage, fear and lack of adequate knowledge or information towards making a good servitude. Stott (2002) argues that fear and lack of confidence are the tactics the devil uses to suppress the servants of God. He argues that the devil fears encountering people who are strong in the word of God and the only way the devil can manage that is by instilling fear in those likely to grow to oppose him. Wiersbe and Wiersbe (2010) further notes that the way out of this is by appreciating that God is impressed by our actions to serve him (Malachi 3:17-18, NIV) and therefore as long as we are confident of serving God, then fear and lack of confidence should not be part of us. Believing that when you speak it is God speaking in you and not yourself also makes one more courageous. In case you are disturbed by fear and lack of courage and confidence, then call on God for direction and he will award you your requests because His plans are to build us as opposed to destroying you (Jeremiah 29:11, NIV).
Not having adequate knowledge is another key item suppressing service to God (Stott, 2002). Indeed the Bible says that God’s people suffer due to lack of knowledge which they have refused to gain (Hosea 4:6). This emphasizes the importance of having adequate knowledge to serve God well. Adequate knowledge will enhance the confidence of a person in executing his/her service. It is also important to note that in the same book of Hosea, God is categorical that he will reject those who have refused to get knowledge. Aiming to serve should therefore be in line with gaining more knowledge.
The drive to serve can also be informed by the person one serves. The authority and status of who you serve is likely to influence your extent of allegiance to that person. As believers (Christians), our service is specifically directed towards God who has big rewards to us for that service. This encourages us to serve heartily as can impress God. Colossians 3: 23-25 (KJV) says, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men; knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ. But he that doeth wrong shall receive for the wrong which he hath done: and there is no respect of persons”. Serving God as opposed to men requires heartily service that is faithful and informed by the greatest commandment according to Jesus-Love. These verses also show that serving God is accompanied by better rewards. Verse 25 makes it clear for the punishment awaiting wrong doers in the service.
In conclusion, it is important to note that as Christians our service is not towards human beings but towards God. In service to God, we should do it heartily and with faith, diligence and cheerfulness and there awaits great rewards for that. To be able to serve better, one is informed to identify the area of interest where he/she can serve joyfully. One should also have adequate knowledge, confidence and courage to be able to serve well. Serving is therefore a calling that we do not have a choice on whether to do or not but rather an activity we must accomplish in our lives.
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