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How to serve others even when we don’t feel like it

God, Himself calls us to do even more than “work.” Deuteronomy 10:12 NIV records a question and the answer: “So now, O Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you? Only to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.” 

The bolded word in the verse above is the word avodah in Hebrew. Here it is translated as service. 

To focus on this important idea, I’ve decided to share an edited version of “service” from my devotional book Your Journey: 40 Days to Reflect on Your Walk with the Lord


As Christians, we are called to serve others, and God acknowledges when we serve. Hebrews 6:10 MSG says, “God doesn’t miss anything. He knows perfectly well all the love you’ve shown him by helping Christians in need, and that you keep at it.” 

Also, Paul writes to the Galatians and tells them, “It is absolutely clear that God has called you to a free life. Just make sure that you don’t use this freedom as an excuse to do whatever you want and destroy your freedom. Rather, use your freedom to serve one another in love; that’s how freedom grows. For everything we know about God’s Word is summed up in a single sentence: Love others as you love yourself. That’s an act of true freedom…” Galatians 5:13-15.

The two verses are meant for us believers today. 

However, have you ever felt like you are carrying the world on your shoulders? Like everything depends on you? Because there is always “something” that needs your attention?

We all go through such moments. We see how our lives have evolved, especially from our days as teenagers to adulthood. I learned to do my chores at the age of seven.

Somewhere between the age of seven and now, I lost the meaning of service.  

When I was a teenager, I did not want to wash dishes all the time. I asked, “What about my younger sister? Doesn’t she belong to this family too?” Matthew 20:28 NIV says, “Just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and give his life for many.”

Today, I increasingly look for opportunities to serve my sister. She often asks for assistance in her homework. I’ll be honest, I’ve ignored her sometimes. In other instances, I would tell her to read the teacher’s directions carefully. Sometimes I don’t feel like helping because I’m busy. 

However, I feel convicted when I remember, “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve…” Matthew 20:28 NIV.

Paul says to us in Philippians 2:14-15 NIV, “Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe.”

Here are some benefits of serving others

1.  Serving others blesses them and gives us the joy of fulfillment. 

2.  Serving others never goes unnoticed by God.

3.  Serving others provides us with the freedom to grow in fellowship with others and God.

Remember the three benefits mentioned above when you feel like you do not want to serve. Pursue the joyful heart service provides. Meditate on God’s smiling approval of your service. Realize that you will be growing your fellowship with God and likely also the person you are serving. 

As you serve, ask the Holy Spirit to help you not to complain. 

Ask Him to keep you blameless and pure in your service. 

Remember, Proverbs 19:17 NIV, “Whoever is kind to the poor lends to the Lord, and He will reward him for what he has done.”  

Whatever you do for someone in need of your help, you are serving God. 

Let us think about that for a second. 

The moment we renew our minds to think of serving a sister, a brother, a wife, a husband, a co-worker, or the homeless, as serving God, our perspective changes. 

Your turn – reflect on a service you did today. Then share it with more than two other people.

Prayer: Dear Counselor, I pray that You may show me how I can be of service to others. I know I have complained about serving before but help me serve with a merry heart that does not expect payment from anyone but You. Amen.

Meditation verse: 1 Peter 4:10, “You should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”

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