By Allen White
…just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." Matthew 20:28
Roland Bergeron left a lucrative construction business to found Water of Life. He has drilled hundreds of water wells to support church planting in Honduras, Liberia, Sierra Leone, and now India. After dozens of 20+ hour flights and sweaty, sleepless nights on a cot, Roland made this statement, “Comfort is the enemy of serving.”
The “enemy,” really? Couldn’t comfort be merely a distraction? Why does it have to be the enemy?
Jesus said that there are two groups of people among us, “those who are served and those who serve.” Jesus came to serve. Jesus calls us to serve. Guess what we have to give up?
Entitlement says, “I deserve.” This is a little corny, but to feel that we deserve is to de-serve. If I am focused on what I need, I am not focused on what you need. My selfishness never leads to selflessness. My pride never produces humility. Self-interest is not the source of self-sacrifice.
That doesn’t mean that we become a doormat and never take care of ourselves. That would be co-dependency. God wants to bless us. He doesn’t intend to bless us into a level of comfort that dictates against serving others, however. To use an overused phrase, we are blessed to be a blessing.
You and I are not better than Jesus. Jesus came to serve. As His disciples, He has commissioned us to serve as well.
When we lived in Southern California, we were members of Saddleback Church. Saddleback is a great church, but I was disappointed with it. The church wasn’t as picture perfect as the one presented in The Purpose-Driven Church by Rick Warren. Some days, I wondered if they had ever read that book. The themes of the sermons were quite familiar. I had downloaded and preached many of them myself over the years. I was a member of one of the greatest churches on the planet, and I was dissatisfied. Then, something changed.
I discovered that there were only five regular ushers in the 4:30 pm Sunday service that we attended. There were at least 1500 people there every week and only five ushers! I was there every week. I could usher. And, do you know what? My focus changed. I was no longer there for myself. I was there to welcome people to the service. I gave them a bulletin, a greeting and a smile. I had to ask them to finish their coffee before they came into the auditorium. (I think I accidentally let a guy in with a beer once, but that’s another story).
Serving changed my perspective. I was no longer at church to be inspired and entertained. I was there to serve others.
What are you feeling disgruntled about these days? My guess is that you feel like you deserve something that you’re not getting. My challenge to you is to turn it around. Whether you hand out bulletins on Sunday or drill water wells in Africa, I challenge you to serve. It’s amazing how little you will feel that you de-serve.
For more information on Water of Life: http://www.givefreshwater.org/
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