"It is more blessed to give than to receive.” (Acts 20:35, Jesus)
I find myself in a short series of blogs posts (this is now #3) on the theme of "I Don't Want To..."
I have previously blogged about "I Don't Want To...Believe" and "I Don't Want To...Change."
This post is on the theme of "I Don't Want To...Serve"
These posts may not seem like your regular pastoral "fodder" (food, theme, things we as pastors or Christians talk about). Yet, these are some of the very things we should be talking about.
"I Don't Want To..." is a kind of heart check, a kind of reality check, a kind of confession.
And we so desparately need confession in our lives...especially followers of Jesus need confession.
Christians too struggle with serving others. Like so many people, we usually serve others for all the wrong reasons:
1. Because we have to
2. Because (maybe) others are watching
3. Because we hope to receive something in return
We very seldom serve based on the words of Jesus: "It is better to give than to receive." Or we could say: "It is better to serve than to be served."
Service is one way to summerize the ministry of Jesus. As Christ himself said: "The Son of Man did not come to be serve but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many" (Mark 10:45).
The word for "blessed" (Greek = "makairios") used in Acts 20:35 is the same word used throughout the New Testament ("Blessed are the poor in spirit," "Blessed are those invited to the wedding baquet of the Lamb"). This kind of being "blessed" means "supremely blest; by extension, fortunate, well off, blessed, happy."
We so often miss the "happiness" of serving others and so, in reality, we "don't want to serve." We have lost the joy of serving (or maybe never had the joy in the first place).
Serving others is our true humanity. When we don't serve or refuse to serve we reject the "image of God" humanity God has given to us. And if rejected for too long then our happiness turns into gloom and we lose the joy we were meant to experience.
Let us serve each other, confessing we often do not want to serve each other. But as we confess and as we serve let's enter into the joy God has for us.