Friday, April 29, 2011

Serving Others With Our Lives

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” - Philippians 2:5-8
 The Apostle Paul uses the example of the relationship between God and Jesus as a model for us to use in our relationship with others.  That's kind of a lofty approach to human relationships!  There are not many of us who would consider ourselves holy enough to place our relationships on a par with Jesus' and God's relationship; though, among our relationships there is the one between us and God.  I've known Christians who considered themselves better than others because they deemed their relationship with God to be better or higher than others.  From this passage we see we should not be arrogant or boastful about our special relationship with Christ; we should not use it for our own advantage.  In all our relationships we are called to be servants.  What would the world look like if we all were intent on serving others?  What would we give another whom we knew?  Would we "become obedient to death" for another with whom we were in relationship?  

Strangely, we might be able to consider dying for someone more easily than we might consider giving them something with a more tangible value - like $20 for a meal?  Perhaps we don't serve, or don't give for fear of not seeing a proper return on our gift/investment?  I wonder if Christ considered the costs and benefits of his serving himself up for our salvation?  If he did, he obviously concluded the benefits were worth the cost (thank you, God), but I prefer to think that Jesus was not so calculating and simply went with the flow of His spirit.  It would be a less stingy and less cutthroat world if we were more daring and served those we knew without calculating the loss.  Can the "loss" we might experience by serving someone out of Christian love hinder the wealth we already possess in Christ Jesus?  The wealth in faith we have is not something that can be taken from us, whereas, all our material possessions will stay behind when we die, whether we give them or hoard them!  So serve with daring and risk.  Share the story of your faith.  Be not afraid!

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