Coptic Orthodox Diocese of the Southern United States

Serving God by Serving Others

print Print  |  send Send to a friend  |  bookmark Bookmark  |   |   |  back Back

"This is my commandment, that you Love one another as I have loved you" (John 15:12).

When God created human beings He gave something very special to every one of us, love. He intended for us to love Him and to love one another. Like a seed love was planted in us since we were born and if we attend it and care for it, it will root deep in our heart and grow through the years into branches and soon will provide shade, strength, beauty, and fruit to whoever comes close to it. So the question is, do we live by the love of God and the love for others?

So many people walk around life with no goal or chasing the wrong things and life becomes meaningless. And they do not realize that what gives life purpose is when we are devoting ourselves to serving God by serving others.

"If I then, your Lord and teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another's feet" (John 13:14).

Jesus Christ did a wonderful job illustrating to all of us the meaning of serving one another and how to show God's work to those around us. Jesus tried to say that:

  • True servants need to be gentle and humble: Jesus entered the upper room to find it full of proud hearts and dirty feet. Not one of the disciples was willing to volunteer for the lowest task of washing dirty feet. They all instead fought for who was the greatest among them. Jesus quietly demonstrated to them the meaning of a leader (sees himself as one who serves, one who gives, one with a good attitude, and one who models Jesus Christ Himself).

  • Being humble is not a sign of weakness: Jesus wanted to give an example of what obedient servant means (reach out to help and restore, has the quality of Christ- likeness, and being unselfish...).

  • Serving others is not an easy task: Peter acted out of false humility and pride, and he was not able to receive grace. Although serving God and others can be very rewarding from within our heart, there are other consequences that may come with it:
    • Feeling used and unappreciated
    • Feeling disrespected and resentful
    • Struggling with temptation
    • Being exposed to judgments
    • Facing accountability

We should realize that we are human, filled with weakness, but that does not mean we lock ourselves in a bubble so we will be perfectly safe. We need to know how to trust in God, how to obey Him, and how to use proper perspective that will guard us against stumbling.

"But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion on him" (Luke 10:33).

Did we ever wonder what life would be like if everyone gave love and peace a chance to grow and multiply? We would all meet the needs of each other and have compassion for one another. Definitely we will make God smile. God want us to know that service to others can happen in unlikely places and situations. No religious or political boundaries matter for everyone can start where they are. God expects more from his people than random acts of kindness or loose change from a wallet. He expects sacrificial giving – as to help a complete stranger and love our enemies and reach out to them. The fact is that:

  • We do not have to be specially trained.
  • We do not have to be ordained.
  • We do not have to be rich.
  • We do not need to be incredibly smart.
  • We do not need to acquire special talent.
  • Serving is not only for certain people.
  • Everyone has something to offer.

To do whatever God requires from us, even when it may seem very insignificant or unpleasant to us, can be significant to others. The only ingredient that is required is love.

  • Help the sick: prepare meals, send a card, call
  • Provide financial assistance to the needy
  • Help the elderly with their chores
  • Pray for others: those who are discouraged, weak, sick, traveling
  • Show you care by sending cards: to people for (holidays, birthdays, missing you...etc).

"The Lord rewarded me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands he has recompensed me" (Psalm 18:20).

Some people are discouraged by the amount of serving others do and some people are impressed by the depth of serving others do. But we should be encouraged to know that God does not look at the amount and the depth of work when it comes to serving others, but He looks for the quality of our work. He promised that each act of service no matter how small or large will be remembered by God; and no reward will be forgotten. Even a cool cup of water given out of love will be rewarded. But it might be postponed until eternity, for most of our rewards will be reserved in heaven for those who live unselfishly.

"Behold, my servants shall rejoice, but you shall be ashamed; behold, my servants shall sing for joy of heart, but you shall cry for sorrow of the heart" (Isaiah 65:13).

What makes God smile?

When we love Him with all our heart, soul and mind
When we obey Him instantly and gladly
When we praise Him and thank Him continually
When we use our abilities for His glory
When every act of enjoyment becomes an act of worship

May the Lord grant us the knowledge and the abilities to serve Him and each other to the glory of God.

Written by
Nagwa Abdou

print Print  |  send Send to a friend  |  bookmark Bookmark  |   |   |  back Back