Carrying Life for Others . . .

I often feel like I am a lousy Christian. I try to follow the teachings of Jesus and I try to be obedient in all the little corners of my life.

Yet, I feel like I do not measure up to the “high calling of Christ” (Phil. 3.14).

One of the things that trips me up the most as a Christian is the need to serve others. I know I should. I think I do. I try my best.

I often feel, though, that I just do not have the whole picture.

Let me explain.

First, if you are following along on this spiritual journey, “Thank you!” If you’re just dropping in, I hope you find this helpful.

For the last seven weeks, I have been writing about the disciplines of the Christian life. Each week I write about one here and then explore it in more detail with “Three Minute Bible Studies’ on my Facebook page.

So far, we have looked at these disciplines: meditation, prayer, fasting, bible study, simplicity, silence, and submission.

This week, we look at the discipline of service.

When I think about service the lyrics from the old Bob Dylan song echo in my mind:

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody,
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody.

The question that haunts me as I try to live my Christian life is “just who am I truly serving?”

We would like to think that “serving” as a Christian can be wrapped up in a cloak of doing good deeds.

We give offerings to help the poor. Why, that is service isn’t it?

We volunteer our time to help people in need. Why, that is service isn’t it?

We mentor, train, coach, or encourage those younger than us. Why, that is service isn’t it?

Somehow, serving feels like it needs to be something deeper and more substantive than doing good things. Maybe, it even goes deeper than “serving somebody” as the Dylan song suggests.

The service we are called to by Jesus is more about our person than our hands.

We can always “do” things for others if we are asked or if we are given the opportunity.

The service we are called to by Jesus asks of us our lives. It asks that we say “Yes” to God in such a way that we would and do walk away from everything we value.

This is my biggest challenge. I have a family. I have a career. I have goals. I have a future in mind.

How do I truly live as a servant and follow Christ while I keep all my other commitments in life?

This is a question that should haunt us.

It is a question we should embrace.

Somewhere in the asking of it, God will help us find what we are carrying that needs to be set down so we can carry life for others.

Maybe carrying life for others helps us think about being servants instead of doing service. Remember, service is about person not about doing.

How do you see service? Is it more about who you are instead of what you do? What do you think?