Dear Lydia: What happened to serving?

Written by  "Dear Lydia" Friday, 26 March 2010 06:31

Dear Lydia,

I was married recently and moved to a part of my church that is very far from where I used to live. A dear friend of mine recently had surgery and I thought she was getting her needs met as far as food, help with the house, etc. She is a very serving person and it never crossed my mind that her needs would not be taken care of since she has served others so often.

She is having another surgery, and just in passing I asked what arrangements had been made (she has had several surgeries). She told me that although a few people in our singles' ministry had helped out with things like a ride home from the doctor, most had not responded to her request for help. She had not said anything to me because I live far away, and she didn't think it was appropriate to say anything to me when (she thought that) I would be unable to help. I was shocked and made arrangements to stay the weekend and help out.

Lydia, what has happened to our servant hearts? This isn't the only time that I have seen serious needs go unmet. It didn't use to be like this. I know we can't compel anyone to love each other, but we have so many servants who are "relied on" to serve a lot while others barely serve at all. I am doing the best I am to teach the young sisters I help to serve, but why has serving become such a low priority in our fellowship?


Missing the Servant Hearts

Dear Missing,

I hope your friend is doing better. I agree with you that serving each other should be a priority for the whole body of Christ. Jesus set the example by choosing to be a servant (Matthew 20:28) and in Galatians 5:13 we are called to use our freedom in Christ to serve others in love.

It sounds like you live in a metropolitan area with many sectors and life stream groups such as the Singles Ministry. We get into the bad habit of thinking, “I am sure someone is taking care of this, everybody wants to help her,” but nobody ends up doing it. One thing we should avoid is “assuming”. You thought her needs would be met. She asked for help and did not receive much. NO ONE took responsibility. I think taking the initiative to immediately go and help her was the right choice.

Often needs go unmet because no one is in charge or taking the responsibility of organizing the help that is needed. It would have been a good idea for you to kick start the process of making this a priority for the local disciples by calling a sister in her ministry or geographic area to assume the responsibility of making sure her needs were met immediately and in the future. This duty takes lots of persistence and is a trait that needs to be nurtured in all of us. Perseverance produces character, hope and Godliness in our lives. (Romans 5:1-5, 2 Peter 1:3-9).

You indicated that you are trying to teach younger women to serve, which would indicate that you are a mature woman. Please do not allow yourself to become a critic of the family of God. Those of us that are seasoned disciples easily fall prey to being old sourpusses! We are to GROW IN GRACIOUSNESS. God is full of grace – we are the recipients of his unmerited favor, his undeserved love. We must become imitators of that quality and not fall prey to Satan's scheme to produce disunity.

Thank you for your concern for us to be sure we serve one another. I hope this reminds us all to serve others in love and so live out the law of Christ.



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