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To Be a Servant
“Freely you have received, freely give” (Matthew 10:8b).

Jesus gave the disciples a principle to guide their actions as they ministered to others: “Freely you have received, freely give.” Because God showers us with blessings, we should give generously to others of our time, love, and possessions.

My family started a ministry at the local convalescent home. We, along with a few other homeschooling families go sing, read poems, passages of Scriptures, do puppet shows, and skits for these elderly people. It is a great blessing to them. These folks are usually visited only every so often by their families. We see them for an hour every month, and also bring flowers and cards at other times (flowers we always do for Mother’s Day).

I have experienced what Proverbs 11:25b says: “...he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.” I always leave the convalescent home refreshed myself.

When we give to others, we often give material possessions, but how often do we just give our time? When someone needs help form you, is your response “I don’t have time”? Sometimes I say, “I’m doing something else.”

When I start getting tired of cleaning the kitchen by myself or making sandwiches while everyone else is doing their own thing, I remember what the character trait of benevolence is all about. What is benevolence? I’ll define it for you: “Benevolence is giving to others’ basic needs without having as my motive personal reward.” In other words, it is giving without expecting to get anything back.

So, what should our attitude be? What should be our motivation? Do you give because you think you will benefit from it? Do you have an attitude that says, “I’m great because I gave this to so-and-so”?

These both are wrong. Your motivation should be to be like Jesus; your attitude should be like that of Jesus. Jesus was a benevolent man. He gave of His time to that woman who was bleeding for many years. Unlike His disciples who were urging Him to hurry, He spoke to the woman and said, “Your faith has healed you.”

Jesus’ ministry was that of serving others. He said He did not come to be served, but to serve. Philippians 2:5 says, “Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ.” He had a servant’s heart and a benevolent attitude.

A lot of people tend to think they have to get out and do something great—like going down to the local Crisis Pregnancy Center, or ministering in Africa. But no! We forget about the ministry in our home, with our own family. It all starts there. Give of your time to the younger ones. Consider scrubbing toilets as a labor of love for your family.

My family is currently going through a trial. All five of the younger children were taken by CPS and placed in foster care. Most of their accusations against us were false. But, during the month that the children were away from us I saw how much I took them for granted. I used to tell them, “I don’t have time to help you on that; I have to do this.” Basically that’s the same thing as me telling a non-believer, “I don’t have time to tell you about God.”

So take a look again at where your ministry really is. It all starts in your home and neighborhood.

One time I was at Wal-mart and saw a lady struggling to put a 50-pound bag of dog food in her cart. I watched person after person laugh at her as the cart kept rolling away. I felt sorry for her, so went and helped her. The poor woman was shocked beyond words that I, a young adult, would stop and help.

My ministry is being a servant—serving in any way I can, whenever I can. “Go then and do likewise.”

~By Brandy C., submitted for HW magazine, Vol. 71

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