Why everyone loves full-service and self-serve

Children love the buffet line. Most children I know gladly go with their parents to the buffet type family restaurants. While walking around the buffet line, they pass by the vegetables and don’t pay any attention to the entrées; they go straight for the desserts! Children love buffet restaurants because the dessert aisle is self serve! Wanna load up on cookies? There’s no one there to stop you. Want to fill your plate with ice cream? It’s fine with the restaurant owner — mom and dad on the other hand…not so much!

If you are older, you’ll remember full-service gas stations. When you pulled in and the bell “dinged,” a service attendant came out to pump your gas, check your oil, clean your windshield, and take your money. You never had to leave the convenience of the driver’s seat.   Man, those were the days. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen a full-service gas station.

People love to be served. It’s in our nature to feel special when someone serves us. Jesus knew this. That’s why he was the greatest servant of all. In Mark 10:45, Jesus makes it clear that he came to serve mankind not to be served by them.

You were created to serve

You were created in God’s image. Jesus is the ultimate example of who God is and what God is like. So the fact that Jesus came to serve rather than be served tells us how we should live. Service is in our nature.

Our primary purpose in life is to serve God. That’s why he made us (Luke 4:8). God is Creator, we are the created, and the purpose of creation is for us to bring God glory. God is pleased when his people are serving him. In John 12:26, Jesus states that if we serve him, God in Heaven will honor us. When we serve God, he expects us to do it with our whole heart (Matthew 6:24).

Serving like your leader

The word “servant” in the New Testament is better translated “slave.”   Here’s what I find fascinating — when the Bible talks about Christians the language that it uses is that of a slave.  Don’t let that word slave cause you problems. Think about it this way, God is the Master and we are his slaves. He is a good Master. He is a gracious Lord. He is a benevolent Leader. He always does right by his servants.   Even in Mark 10:45 Jesus says whoever would be of first importance must be a slave of all.

Serving is good for you

Still not convinced that you should serve others? Here are a few things to think about.  It is:

  1. Good for your sake – takes the focus off you. It’s not healthy to be totally focused on you all the time.   Service takes the attention off of you and puts it on the needs of others around you. Serving others is good for you.
  2. Good for the soul – shows that you’re following in the footsteps of the Master. Being willing to serve others without asking for anything in return is like following in the footsteps of Jesus.  It’s an indication of the condition of your soul.
  3. Good for society – our world is a better place when people are serving. No one wants to live in a society where everybody cares only about themselves. In fact, the very fabric of society would break down at that point. We all need to serve others and be served by others.

Go out and do good to someone this week. Go serve someone who cannot return the favor.  Not only will the world become a better place; you’ll become a better person for it!

Further reading

A modern Harriot Tubman

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