Lessons in Serving

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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Journey with Jesus,


  1. I empathize with the hurt your disgruntled server caused you Rina, but I marvel at how the Lord has given you this powerful post as a result! I can so easily be an impatient server when my thoughts are askew…as they tend to be at times. Christlike, loving service is my hearts desire as I care for three sons, one with major mental disability. You have encouraged me greatly today. Love & prayers, in Jesus, Cynthia

    • RinaPeru says:

      Cynthia, the thought that every difficulty or pain which the Lord will turn into a lesson (blessing) is what strengthens and encourages me to go on. Blessings to you, my dear friend!

  2. Perla says:

    Hi Rina,
    I can relate this story to myself, I had those feelings during my younger years when there were ups& downs of my life. Those days, when I was low& vulnerable, it’ s so easy to think& doubt of things around. Those times when I didn’t have that strong self-esteem yet…but as times goes by, lesson learned , or let’s say, ” learning is constant process. the rest of our life” as we grow older& think& act maturely. I started to realize how easy to integrate & understand others and even myself, As well. And I believe we can develop this attitude too. The attitude to accept things as they are…easier said than done, but believe me, I could feel your Lamentations . How about going to some courses related , which will help us to understand more on things around us. Anyway, I admire your courage& with so much faith& love with what you do, Rina.. . Just think how privilege you are not only to have a beautiful family & home, but a deep relationship to The Lord. Be strong& think about the Love around you…

    • RinaPeru says:

      Manang Perla, thank you for sharing your thoughts and experiences here. They are much appreciated. As I see you now, I can’t imagine that there was a time that you had low self-esteem. But maybe, even though we grew up having it deep within us, there are things in the world that steal it from us. Something happens to us or hurts us that makes us retreat into our shell and just hide. But thanks be to God! For when the Lord brought us salvation, He made us His true children, and since our Father is the King of kings, we are His princesses, loved and cherished! That’s who and what we are in His eyes! The Lord is so gracious to inspire me to do things for His kingdom and to delight even in the simple things, amidst the on-going trials in my life. I can see the beauty in your life, too, and I pray that your love for the Lord and His Word will flourish more and more! Blessings!

  3. This is a challenging post and there is so much here that I can relate to. Very thought-provoking.
    Thanks for sharing at Essential Fridays.
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions

  4. Tiffany says:

    This is a great reminder for all of us! Thanks for sharing your heart. :-)


  5. Hazel Moon says:

    I wonder if there are times we grudgingly serve our Lord, thinking we should have a higher station? He must painfully turn his head and perhaps smile at our foolishness. I understand how you must have felt when a person who was to care for you did not joyfully give of themselves. In that moment Jesus himself was smiling at You dear one, and reaching out his arms to shield and comfort you. Thank you for sharing with us here at “Tell Me a Story.”

    • RinaPeru says:

      This is beautiful, dear Hazel. In the end, after agonizing prayers, scalding tears, and a heart that fully surrendered all – everything was forgiven and forgotten.

  6. Lisa says:

    Having suffered from chronic (and often debilitating) pain for 16 years, I can totally relate. I’ve found that I need to stop making assumptions about others and focus on my attitude. If I can have the attitude of Christ, I can be grateful for the help regardless of the attitude of the giver. Who knows, their mind could have been so many other places, and they may have burdens of their own, but they came and they served and that is something. We are all works in process. Blessings to you!

    • RinaPeru says:

      I am deeply grateful for every assistance I receive, Lisa, however small. But that doesn’t stop the pain when you are treated like you’re an unwanted burden; when you’re treated coldly and hostilely. It wasn’t someone who came to help, for I am sure that she would have done her best to give comfort. What hurt the most was it was a family member, someone you hoped to care for you and cherish you. “Do everything in love” (1 Cor. 16:14). But as I answered Hazel (another commenter and fellow blogger), in the end, after agonizing prayers, tears, and full surrender of one’s heavy burdens to God – all was forgiven and forgotten.

  7. Cathy says:

    Your post was such a great reminder to serve in love. Glad I stopped by. : )