I recently had a brush with the kind of service that is done grudgingly. One of the hardest things about being ill and “disabled” is one’s dependence on another’s assistance. It could really be frustrating at times, having someone to do the simplest things for you. And then they could make you feel like an unwanted burden which is really a painful thing. The combination of illness with suffering and the feeling that you are a burden to others will surely bring your spirits to the ground.
I don’t understand why, when Apostle Paul wrote that “we have the mind of Christ” (1 Cor. 2:16), some still cannot grasp it and do not live having the mind of Christ. I know of a truth that the mind of Christ is humble. He came down to earth essentially to serve and that’s exactly what He did. It didn’t suffice Him to preach the Gospel of the kingdom and heal diverse kinds of diseases which His disciples witnessed intimately. He saw the need to clearly demonstrate what serving really meant.
One night after supper, the Lord rose from the table, girded Himself with towel, put water in a basin, and knelt and began to wash the disciples’ feet, and wiped them with the towel. When He was done, He told everyone present:
If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. (John 13:14-15)
Wash one another’s feet. Do as I have done to you. Those are the Lord’s commands.
As I was feeling the brunt of a disgruntled server, I thought of the Lord hanging on the cross, bloody and dying. He received them all: insults, spits, scourges, and finally, death on the cross. And yet, there was not a word of complaint that came out of His mouth. Not a single word of complaint. But words of grace. Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).
The Lord Jesus Christ gladly served. It was His great joy to serve and do the will of His Father.
Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame… (Heb. 12:1-2, emphasis added)
Just this morning, I reached the Love Chapter in my Bible reading, and again, I was reminded by that episode in my life where it felt like I was to be blamed why I was disabled and needed serving. During that whole lamentable episode, my mind was actually full of these thoughts on the teachings about love. What does it profit us if we serve without love and joy?
…and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing. (1 Cor. 13:2-3)
Faith doesn’t even surpass love! Even if we worship everyday but do not serve with love, the Bible says we are nothing! And though we give our bodies to be burned (an ultimate sacrifice, if I may say, compared to washing another’s feet!), but do it not with love, what we do is essentially unprofitable!
I can think of one reason why sometimes we serve grudgingly. It is because we look at the one we serve and might not like what we see. For whatever reason, we might hate serving him or her in particular. But in the Body of Christ, we were taught not to be respecter of persons (see James 2:1-5). And not look at the person we’re doing service to but to the King. We are doing it for Him!
“The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’” (Matt. 25:40)
(Image taken from here and edited by me).
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