Service -- What is it?

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Nancy

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In my messages, I often focus on the actions of being a Christian. I like the ideas of humility and service as examples that Christ gave us. And sometimes, I get pretty down on myself because I don't feel I am doing enough in the way of serving. And when I try to review the things I am doing, I start to wonder...what is service anyway? When I decide to put my faith into action, what are the kinds of things I could/should be doing? Just asking...
 

Luce NDs

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Service; balanced take of grace .... it's a given! Then we return ...

Like Robert service on the midnight son ... the child filling in the blanks? If one doesn't know ... it is a dark mystery ... thus extensive for those wishing not to know ... and NU's passes unnoticed!

Slick as a whet soul off a ducks back ... all reason is subdued in the search for emotional content!
 

Carolla

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Such an interesting question Nancy. I'm baking bread today, so I will ponder it & get back here later.
 

Nancy

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I look forward to hearing your input Carolla. I like to make lists in my head. Sometimes the list includes: What did I do today to help others? Is that service? And does service mean helping the marginalized, not just those in my easy realm of reach (kids, husband, extended family)? And would it be right to say no to babysitting in order to work at a soup kitchen? Are there degrees of service?
 

unsafe

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My view is this -----All service we do for others is good -----but their is a difference of who we are serving when we are providing a service to others -----who is getting the glory for the service provided that is the real question and issue ----

Should we serve others just so we can puff ourselves up by telling others what great service we do for other people ?

Dr Phil and Oprah are doing great service for others all the time ----so motive is an issue when doing service for others --

Does Dr Phil and Oprah do their great service for others so their personal ratings go up so they can stay on the air --Dr Phil has said many times he is the number 1 show on television ------so who are they really serving ? and what is the motive behind the serving -----the people they serve benefit big time so for the person served it is a great service done ----

Bible says when we help the poor we are Not to Blow a trumpet ?

Serving others makes us feel good ----is that what serving others is all about ?

Some food for thought ----
 

Northwind

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I agree @unsafe motive is something to consider. That being said, does a motive of feeling good cancel out the good that is done? While I don't particularly like Dr Phil, I do recognize he has done some good.

We don't know what motivates people unless we ask them.

I guess for me service is getting outside our own little worlds to help others in some way. I got paid to help others when I was working. If I saw that as a ministry, or service, I believe I did a better job. Even professionals need to have an element of selflessness, while still looking after themselves.

This is an interesting topic.
 

Mendalla

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I agree @unsafe motive is something to consider. That being said, does a motive of feeling good cancel out the good that is done? While I don't particularly like Dr Phil, I do recognize he has done some good.

The problem of motive is that doing service with expectation of getting something back can lead to the service being focussed on the doer's needs rather than the beneficiaries'. Giving an extravagant donation where some simple hard work would do more good for instance.

I do agree that doing good because it benefits you as well as the recipient doesn't invalidate what good you do. But it is worth examining our motivations because doing what is best for YOU could actually not be doing what is best for the recipient. It should never only be about you, IOW.
 

unsafe

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Nothhwind ---your statement -----We don't know what motivates people unless we ask them.

This is very true we don't--- but there is one way to know ----in my opinion Every time we say Look what I did or --I spent my day off yesterday serving at the soup kitchen ------do you think we are giving our ego a boost -----if your really a servant as Mendalla points out it is not about the one serving ---it is all about the wellbeing of the one being served ---

Motive plays a Big part when we serve ------it is OK to feel good about serving someone but when we feel the need to voice it to all our friends we are looking for ego validation for our good deed -----your actually taking or wanting all the Glory for your serving -----so it becomes all about you in my view ----

It becomes who am I really serving ?----myself by feeling good and voicing my good deeds to others ----or knowing because you have helped someone they are in a better place and voicing it is not needed because you don't need the validation from anyone ---that is true serving ---in my view -----

For True Christians ----we serve God so all serving gives God the Glory ----and that is what true Christians are called to do ---God is the motivator by and through the Holy Spirit not us -----we serve God --God through us serves others --
 

Luce NDs

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It gets so complicated those following simple rules become distraught!
 

PilgrimsProgress

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It's taken me many years, but I'm finally at peace with where I'm at in regard to service.......
When I first reconnected with attending church, after many years absence, I remembered one of the reasons I'd been unhappy with attending church.
Service is often demanded, (by pushing guilt buttons) rather than allowed to develop.

We are all given gifts, and service is best shown by using our God given gifts. It's better for the recipients and it's better for the givers of service.
To sustain our service, we also need boundaries to prevent burn-out.

Nowadays, service for me isn't a chore but a pleasure.
 

Waterfall

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Needing help can often feel embarrassing for the person(s) in need, they feel humbled and "less than" because circumstances have put them in a vulnerable situation.....I personally think that if we help, it's better for others to possibly just see we've helped or preferably to remain anonymous, rather than purposefully go out and tell others in order to make ourselves feel great.
 

Luce NDs

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It's taken me many years, but I'm finally at peace with where I'm at in regard to service.......
When I first reconnected with attending church, after many years absence, I remembered one of the reasons I'd been unhappy with attending church.
Service is often demanded, (by pushing guilt buttons) rather than allowed to develop.

We are all given gifts, and service is best shown by using our God given gifts. It's better for the recipients and it's better for the givers of service.
To sustain our service, we also need boundaries to prevent burn-out.

Nowadays, service for me isn't a chore but a pleasure.

As long as I'm not pushed as a slave ... beyond rational limits ... reasonable mortals? Slavery is a big thing even for the internet to extract information and intelligence from individuals ... unconsciously to them!

The give take circle is a hateful love hate curve ... be prepared for unknowns and speaking to strangers!
 

KayTheCurler

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I seem to have a group of people on my FB page who frequently post updates on their 'service'. I learned as a kid that what matters is 'doing what you can to address the needs' - praise, thanks and admiration aren't part of it, especially if the 'do-er' puts out an announcement.. So, we have a huge group of people quietly doing what they can, and a small group of people being honoured for doing some helping with lots of fanfare!

I suppose individuals have their own ideas about 'service'. Some do ongoing hands-on things - like helping at a Nursing Home on a regular schedule, or coaching Special Olympics. Some drop off food where they think it might be needed, or shovel a driveway to help someone out. Some give money. Some provide rides to medical care (big need for this when specialists are over three hours away). Oooops - I should make sure I mention the casual visitors who pop in on the elderly, the chronically ill etc..

Not sure I see a way to decide one act as more important than another.
 

PilgrimsProgress

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Further thoughts.......
When folks need help - and are feeling vulnerable and "less than" I personally feel that it's important to connect with the person.
As well as goods/services - folks need to hear that they're not alone, there have been times when you've needed help, too. I've found that the quickest way to end another's feeling of "less than" is to share moments of your own vulnerability. That way, you're seen as empathic, rather than as the dreaded "do-gooder".
 

BetteTheRed

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I think that the effect is maybe more important than the "intent". I also think that what we do and aspire to do is something a lot more complex than "service". I think that when I displace myself from the centre of my universe and put in something else, I am "in service". Sometimes I have to advertise what I'm attempting in order to get help. There's a part of service that is routine and necessary - the people who run programs (sandwiches for the homeless, meals for students), who give their gifts by figuring out how much salt we need in the kitchen, who translate the order of service into slides on Sunday, who interminably move around the chairs, paid or unpaid.

I'm not entirely sure that the "origin" or the "impulse" behind any service can be judged, outside of the result.
 

Pavlos Maros

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I do agree that doing good because it benefits you as well as the recipient doesn't invalidate what good you do. But it is worth examining our motivations because doing what is best for YOU could actually not be doing what is best for the recipient. It should never only be about you, IOW.
But when can any religious person truly say that they have not got an ulterior motive. Ever religious person wants to look good within the eyes of their god. So everything they do by default has an agenda.
Whereas a person without any gods has no one to impress. So their service as you call it must be superior. Wherever they do is done without any ulterior motives, it is done simply because it need to be, and it is the right thing to do.
 

Nancy

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I think some people grow up in families (God-inspired or not) where doing the right/kind/helpful thing becomes a learned behaviour. I have friends like that. As for broadcasting our service, as on a facebook page, that surprises me. The people I know who talk about their service do it in an inviting way...Do you want to help? … or a joyful way, because they are happy to be part of it. I agree that service can be the quiet, simple, everyday things, done with a generosity of spirit. I am sometimes so overwhelmed by the need I see in the world, that I worry that I have limited my own notion of service, and I wonder if God is calling each of us to do more.
 

Luce NDs

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And don't forget to support the narcissist by criticising the mass of little ignorant people!

Do the ignorant have ulterior motives too? Survival on next to nothing ... that extreme deficiency offered by those searching for power ...

Join the race be an ignorant power too! Accept the toss-up!
 
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