I don’t consider service to be one of my spiritual gifts and several “gifts profiles” have confirmed that. However, I don’t think that not having the gift of service relieves me of my responsibility, as a Christian, to serve others. I think it means that I may just have to step a bit farther out of my comfort zone than someone who does have the gift of service.
So, how does one go about serving others? There are some obvious examples, such as working in a soup kitchen or raking leaves for a sick or elderly neighbor. Someone I knew once took cookies to a local fire station, just to thank the firemen for serving the community. I thought that was really cool.
Our church is very big into serving the community and they do it in some very unique ways, such as handing out water bottles in the park on a hot summer day, hosting free car washes (for no other motive than to wash someone’s car), and our annual community-wide Easter egg hunt. My personal favorite is filling backpacks for the homeless each year at Christmas. Now, that’s my kind of service. I can fill the backpack, then, drop it off at church, staying safely inside my comfort zone. 😉
Sometimes an act of service might be as simple as sending a card to someone who might be in need of encouragement or lending a listening ear to a lonely elderly person. It might be as big as taking a missions trip to a third world nation to take badly needed supplies or provide help building shelters. Sometimes it might be as personal as taking a meal to a friend in need or sitting with a terminally ill loved one in the final stages of his or her life.
When we began this school year, one of the things that I considered was how we could minister to others this year. My family is not, unfortunately, very good at serving others. Part of this contemplation was what led me to consider homeschooling my niece this year. I knew it would be a good thing for her and something that she would enjoy, as well as being something helpful for my sister.
Did it require me to step out of my comfort zone? It did, at least as far as convenience goes. However, God blesses and equips us for what He has called us to do. I know that God has been in this decision, partially based on how smoothly it has gone right from the beginning.
Sometimes it’s all too easy to close ourselves in and take care of only the needs of our immediately family, but, I think that God has called His people to something higher. While it’s not the easiest thing for me, I’m going to try to focus more on how God would have me and my family to serve others.
Does your family have a unique way of serving others?