Monday, March 20, 2006

40-Days to Servanthood: Day 16

In the process of seeking your area of servanthood, strive to render service in hidden ways.

A number of years ago, I chaired the planning committee for a church convention. It involved 200 churches. It turned out to be an extraordinary event. People left excited. The feedback was universally positive as people said things like, “That’s the best and most useful church convention we’ve ever attended.”

I should have been happy. But I was bummed. The bishop hadn’t taken the time to tell everybody what a wonderful job I had done or how it had been my vision that had been executed at that convention. (Can you imagine that?)

But one day, as I was sitting in my office, praying, a thought crossed my mind, a thought I’m certain came from God: “Who were you doing all of this for, hotshot, you or Me?”

The world is full of examples of people who live for themselves. Selfish living is the source of all the misery we see in the world and in ourselves. The quicker we learn that life is about the God Who designed us and wants what is best for us, and not about us, the more quickly we can serve in ways that are useful to God and also fulfilling to us.

During this week, we’ll be looking at types of Christian service compiled by theologian Richard Foster. The first is one we’ve mentioned before: hiddenness. Says Foster: “If all our serving is before others, we will be shallow people...Hiddenness is a rebuke to [or sinful natures]...and can deal a fatal blow to pride [by which, I’m sure, he means arrogance]...”

He goes on: “At first thought it would seem that hidden service is only for the sake of the person served. Such is not the case. Hidden, anonymous ministries affect even people who know nothing of them...It sends ripples of joy and celebration through any community” as others realize that are people who serve simply because it’s the right response to a giving God’s love.

Strive to render service in hidden ways.

Bible Passage to Ponder: “Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God” (Colossians 3:22, King James Version).

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