Last time we acknowledged the universal problem of ingratitude and mentioned how this can tempt us to be resentful in ministry. Today we will gain some tools for escaping this trap.
Here’s the next important principle concerning serving:
Your serving must primarily be to please God rather than man.
I cannot improve upon the Bible, so here it is from holy writ:
Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men. (Col 3:23)
One of the reasons that this exhortation is so important is because if you don’t obey it you will quickly descend into the abyss of resentment! If you work and serve to be acknowledged by people, you will often be disappointed. Even when people enjoy your contribution to their lives they usually will forget about it before they think to thank you!
Someone once said that the true test of humility is when you act like a servant when you are treated like one! Just ponder that for a moment!
By the way, while typing these posts I learned that the WordPress spellcheck doesn’t recognize “servanthood”! And it doesn’t allow me to “add” the word to the dictionary. It simply gives me two options: “ignore” or “ignore always”. Is that not revealing about our current culture??? We live in an ungrateful society that demands service but ignores servanthood!
So we best just get over it and flee to our final principle:
God hasn’t missed anything!
For God is not unjust so as to forget your work and the love which you have shown toward His name, in having ministered and in still ministering to the saints. (Hebrews 6:10)
Yep, that’s the good news: God hasn’t missed anything. God is keeping record of even the glass of water you serve in His name. Every toilet scrubbed and diaper changed. Every time you’ve gone to work to feed your family. Every communion cup filled. Every worship song led. Every Sunday school lesson you’ve taught. Every home group hosted. Every meal prepared. Every dollar given to support ministry to others…
The next time you find yourself in the place of the unappreciated servant and are tempted to lose heart and become weary in well-doing, remember this lesson! And finally, remember this promise as well:
Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary. So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. (Gal 6:7-10)
Have you ever personalized this promise? I mean, have you actually put your name in the text and claimed the promise for your own soul? You do realize this promise was meant for your use? Personalizing this promise would look something like this:
I am not be deceived, God hasn’t missed anything. For what I have sown while serving Him I will also reap. For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but when I serve God and His people I will from the Spirit reap eternal life. So I refuse to lose heart in doing good, for in due time I will reap spiritual and eternal rewards if I do not grow weary. So then, I will eagerly watch for every opportunity, yes I will continue to look for ways to do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith. (Gal 6:7-10)
The next time you feel the twinge of resentment after having served others, why not turn to Galatians 6 and fight the unbelief of resentment with the faith that comes from God’s promises?