For this week’s Monday Minute, Michelle challenges us to grow together by serving one another.
Grow Together by Serving
By Michelle Hieb
Service–it’s the very lifeblood of the military and Christian life.
“Service Member” is the generic term used to refer to all who wear a military uniform.
Yet, all too often, status seems more appealing than service.
Jesus faced a similar issue with his disciples. The mother of two of his disciples approached him about making her sons his top guys, and then all the disciples started bickering over who deserved that position. Jesus’ response to the conflict made his position on status and service clear.
“You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. It shall not be so among you. But whoever would be great among you must be your servant, and whoever would be first among you must be your slave, even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
We all struggle to live out the challenge Jesus issued to his followers that day. If you want to rise up, you must kneel down. We grow the most, not when we are having our needs met, but when we are meeting the needs of others.
Believe me when I say learning to serve this way was not easy.
But after 18 years of serving alongside my husband in Army chapels, we’ve made “Service” our unofficial family motto.
My husband is on the enlisted side of the chapel, so the responsibility of set-up, tear-down, wiping tables, and taking out the trash, ultimately falls to him. Because I love him and want him home on Sunday, I work alongside him to complete the tasks before and after services and events we’ve attended.
Our four children have grown up being an additional work crew. They learned early the truth behind “many hands make light work” and more than once we’ve all spoken the words of Martha, “Don’t you care that I’m doing all the work? Tell them to help me!” (Michelle paraphrase of Luke 10:40). Whether it be about an actual sibling or a perceived slacking of fellow chapel members, we’ve all grumbled when we thought the load on our shoulders was too heavy. I even looked forward to a day when his rank would mean assigning these tasks to someone else.
Are your eyes on the work or Jesus?
Jesus’ reply to Martha rings true today: Mary had her eyes on Jesus, Martha had her eyes on the work-Mary chose wiser. (Michelle Paraphrase of Luke 10:41-42). There will always be work to do if we are willing to heed the command to serve one another. It’s easy to start grumbling about the work, but the other side of the coin is brighter and truer. The work becomes light when we share it with fellow believers and when we remember our labor isn’t for people, but for God. The desired rank arrived and the same tasks I desired to pass off are now an opportunity to serve a new generation of soldiers.
As a family, we have built strong relationships with each other and friends through service. Lifting tables, moving chairs, carrying garbage, and wiping countertops. I’ve seen women grow in abilities and skills they didn’t know they possessed as they planned and executed weekly meetings, programs, and Bible studies for PWOC. When they shared troubles and joys over that work they built trust and turned each others’ eyes back to the One we ultimately serve. My family learned we can depend on God and each other to provide for our needs. Lessons learned through sometimes tedious work and service..
The pursuit of status stifles growth and breaks unity, but when we seek to serve we build a strong Christian community.
Read: Galatians 5:13-15 and1 Peter 4:8-11
Reflect:Who are we called to serve? How are we called to serve them? What happens when we serve well and when we serve poorly?
Respond: What gifts has God given you? How are you using them to serve? Who is serving with you?
Abba, thank you for the gifts you’ve given me and the opportunity to serve others. Forgive my grumbling and when I’ve turned to biting and devouring. Help me to serve in the strength you give, that you may get all the glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
For more community building resources, visit our Community Resources page.