I learned a lot about serving from helping a very special lady in my life. Her name was "Grandma," Lois Draper. She came to live with my family when I was 9 years old.
Grandma came down with polio at 10 months of age and one of her legs was about 4 inches shorter than the other one. I grew up helping Grandma get in and out of her bed, in and out of the house, in and out of cars, and anything else she needed. It was an amazing opportunity to serve a woman who had every reason in the world to complain, but always chose to see things from God's perspective and to view things positively! I learned from helping her that serving really does more for the one serving, than it will ever do for the one being served.
I believe if you are going to serve those around you like Christ, you need to develop a "happy to do it" attitude. When you have a work associate, family member or friend with a need or problem, are you "happy to do it?" or "hacked to do it?" Philippians 2:5 says, "Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus." It is the attitude of a servant. Jesus said in Luke 22:27, "I am among you as the one who serves."
People matter to God. God chooses to use you to serve others and He wants you to be "Happy to do it." This attitude of service is an inside job. You must live your life from the inside-out. Service is an expression of the heart and a reflection of your heart. What is on the inside is going to come out. Proverbs 23:7 says, "As a man thinks in his heart, so is he." You can't act for long without the real "you" coming out.
Are you choosing to serve happily? Does the situation determine whether you want to serve or not? Does the person have to meet certain conditions before you can serve them? Do you choose who to serve based on whether you like them or not? God wants you to choose to be a servant, rather than choosing when and who you will serve.
Not only must you live inside-out, but upside-down. It is a biblical principle. The least shall be the greatest. The leader must be a servant, and the last shall be first. The "royal law" in the Bible is to "love your neighbor as yourself." It requires living life upside-down.
If you live your life inside-out and upside-down, you will live rightside-up. You will act right, responding rather than reacting. You will talk right, and your words will be encouraging, uplifting and motivating. You will think right, thinking of others rather than yourself. You will choose right, making wise choices based on your vertical relationship with God rather than your horizontal relationships with your fellow man. When you serve others you are the most like Jesus, and when you are in-tune with Him, His love will flow through you into the lives of the people around you. You will truly be "happy to do it," and you will enjoy serving others as much as I enjoyed serving Grandma Draper.
There is nothing more rewarding than serving others, expecting nothing in return! You will inspire others as you live your life "happy to do it!"
Randy Draper is the author of "Happy to Do It: Get Your 'Snap' On!" (HeartSpring Media, 2010). Draper and his wife Elizabeth are diamond executive directors with Premier Designs in Irving, Texas. Draper speaks often at churches in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.
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