Serving Comes with a Price
If you are a believer, Jesus calls each of us to live our daily lives as missionaries with love and service to others. We talk about that as compassion, which Ephesians 4:32, 1 Peter 3:8, and dozens of other verses speak directly to us believers about that very topic.
So, if we are commanded, reminded, and reminded again about serving others in God’s word, why aren’t more and more people jumping in with both feet toward serving the least of these? Because serving others is messy, and it comes with a price.
Taking the time to serve definitely gets physically messy. While attending the Kentucky Evangelism and Missions Conference, we recently talked with a pastor about one of their recent Inasmuch Days. He started his day at a painting project and ended up being covered in paint through a mishap with the paint sprayer. He moved on from there to a landscaping project and thought, “Well, I’ll be safe doing some weed-eating.” Wouldn’t you know that he started working right through some dog “leftovers” and started spraying these remains all over himself and others around. He said, “I packed it up and went home after that!”
In his book Compassionaries: Unleash the Power of Serving, David Crocker honestly discusses this topic and tells us that the outcome is not always what we expect when we serve. People are ungrateful! They may try to take advantage of you! And then there is the whole topic of enabling. Is our serving or “helping” actually lending itself to more self-destructive behavior, self-entitlement, or just poor life choices. SEE! Serving others suddenly just became way more difficult than first thought.
Serving rarely is convenient. It’s going to cost you something. Maybe it’s your time. Perhaps it messes up your schedule for the day or makes you late for an appointment. It may take a little sacrifice on our part, and honestly, that is just not what most people are willing to do.
And, serving others takes….MONEY. I know that is like a 4-letter word, and people do not like to deal with that matter. But serving others takes money. As believers, we are focused on life, and life is costly. Living is expensive. This goes for churches too! If a church is vibrant and alive, it will be expensive. Churches that are dead are cheap. They aren’t asking for anything. They aren’t doing any serving. Churches that are GOING are expensive.
Jesus gets right to the heart of the matter in Luke 12:34 when he says, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” If we follow the money in our accounts, we can quickly see where all of our priorities lie. Believe me, I am writing this article for me even more than I am for you, but the truth still remains. The parable that Jesus used in the verses preceding Luke 12:34 talks about a man blessed with maybe his biggest and best crop season ever. What was he to do with all of his extra? He already had barns that held his regular crops. But now, he has extra. Well, the man reasoned with himself (isn’t this what we do?!) and decided that he needed to store up these riches, and he tore down his barns and built larger ones.
What do we do with our “extra?” Our extra time (if you scrolled on Facebook and Instagram today, you have time), our extra money, our extra blessings that we sit around and store up? In verse 20, Jesus called this man a fool because he did not know what to do with “extras.”
When we do not know what to do with our extras, we miss out on what God is trying to do through us. The man in this parable died, and his stuff went to someone else anyways.
Serving others will change our understanding of where our “extras” need to be contributed.
- Serving will change our awareness. We will understand what the needs are around us in our local communities, and our discontent will change from not having enough FOR US to not having enough TO HELP OTHERS.
- Serving others will change our hearts. We will become broken for the needs around us. Our hearts will develop eyes for the hurt and challenges our community members may face. Whatever we commit our time and money toward, we will see our passion toward that follow!
- Serving changes our habits. We either taught ourselves or allowed ourselves to develop certain spending habits, eating habits, time management habits, etc. Serving others and creating a compassionate heart toward others begins to change our daily habits as well.
So, if you are still with me and still engaged in the point I am trying to make, good for you. Serving others will be challenging, especially if you do it often. But it is so worth it! It is life-changing and eternity-changing. When we develop relationships with others because we have first shown them we love them, they will listen even more closely when we tell them WHY we love them and that Jesus loves them and wants to have a relationship with them as well!
We want to help. Operation Inasmuch is here to be part of that change. Our mission is to mobilize believers beyond the church walls into the local community. So if you or your church wants to be more effective and see more of your church serving, we can show you a proven model of ministry to help. Contact us today.