Serving others with zero expectation of return.
By Shelli Jones
Today, we will focus on SERVING OTHERS..."It's Not About Me".
Intro and explanation: Our hope is that this guided time of reflection and devotion will be powerful, but simple enough that you can replicate it for the remainder of your life. We'll begin each post with the scripture passage as well as the practice of slowing down, allowing our savior to speak to us through His word.This "slowing down" is based off of a form of reading, prayer, and meditation that has been around for centuries called Lectio Divina. This simple, yet powerful way of reading scripture (and meditating on it), is helpful for connecting us to the word of God. Then, we'll move on to a video and devotion written by an Exago staff member. Let's get started...
SCRIPTURE OF THE DAY:
DEVOTION OF THE DAY*:
By: Shelli Jones
My husband and I were married in the spring of 2004. Shortly thereafter, we joined a bible study group for young married and engaged couples as we collectively went through a book called “The Marriage Builder” by Dr. Larry Crabb. My eyes were opened in those first years of marriage, and one specific portion of the book really did a number on me. See, I realized...
I am an incredibly selfish person.
In the book, he challenges the reader to look at service to our spouses from a new perspective. To serve them with zero expectation of return. To love and serve our spouse with a joyful heart, fully accepting the fact that they may never serve you back. (SAY WHAT?? I have to serve my husband and I may never get any in return?) Praise the Lord, my husband is awesome and very much serves our family, and I pray that you also experience mutual love, respect, and servanthood within your marriage and relationships*.
But...isn't this just like Jesus?
Jesus loves and serves us with no expectation of return. I mean…the man died for me. (I have not died for anyone today. Have you?) Christ washed his disciples feet. He fed thousands. He journeyed (on foot) for days to preach the gospel. He is the most selfless human thats ever walked the earth. And we’ve all got a lot to learn.
Do we work and serve others, only to receive something in return? Or do we work and serve others to bring honor to Jesus? Do we grumble, complain, or fight? Or do we work with a happy heart? I would be lying if I said that I did NOT struggle with this. This brings me to the feet of Jesus, constantly.
In Philippians, we’re told “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Phil. 2:3-4)
My work in ministry is not about me. Your work in ministry is not about you. It’s about reflecting Christ to the world...in humility, counting others more significant than ourselves and serving them.
...I guess Dr. Crabb’s book was right.
*If you need someone to talk to, regarding toxic and hard relationships within ministry, please reach out to us. (Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org ) We would love to come alongside you and help you navigate and lead others in difficult relationships and perhaps how to set healthy boundaries. If you are experiencing hardships or abuse within your marriage or family, we encourage you to seek help! Reach out to your Pastor or a licensed counselor. If you need help finding one, please contact us at email@example.com