Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Serving Christ by Serving Others

During my social media fast, one of the things I realized was just how much time I had been spending on social media. A quick stop by the computer to just check up on Facebook real quick turned into a 45 minute dive down the rabbit hole as I followed links, chased stories and otherwise wasted time. Likewise, what was intended to be a quick perusal of my Twitter timeline turned into 30 or minutes of watching the various columns scroll, in some vain effort to keep up with a vast information flow.

While I wasn't on social media, I found that I had more time to read, more time to spend with my wife and family, and more time to just simply do the things that needed doing. Now, don't get me wrong, I didn't suddenly become some productive machine of a perfect little angel. I found new ways to waste my time, but that's a discussion for another day. So, even though I'm dipping my toes back into the social media ocean, I'm trying to be much more cognizant of exactly how much time I'm spending on it. I'm trying to set firmer boundaries, and do more productive things with my time.

So what does all of that have to do with the title of this post? Exactly this. We need to be more intentional about what we're doing with our time. I've often heard it said that we must be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world. I had thought it was a scripture reference, but it appears that it's actually a quote from Mother Teresa:
"Christ has no body on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which Christ's compassion for the world is to look out; yours are the feet with which He is to go about doing good; and yours are the hands with which He is to bless us now."
~Saint Teresa of Avila
This goes along with the story of Jesus washing the disciples feet, found in John 13. But the more important verses immediately follow, when Jesus talks about what he did. Take a look at John 13:12-16:
12 When he had washed their feet and put on his outer garments and resumed his place, he said to them, “Do you understand what I have done to you? 13 You call me Teacher and Lord, and you are right, for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you. 16 Truly, truly, I say to you, a servant is not greater than his master, nor is a messenger greater than the one who sent him.
"For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you." Is he saying that we should go around washing the feet of our friends? Not quite, unless they're laid up and need the help. He's talking about service. The job of washing feet was relegated to the lowest servants and slaves in a household. It was definitely not a job of high honor. Jesus is telling us that we need to debase ourselves, get off our high horse, and get dirty helping our neighbors.

What does that look like? It doesn't have to be any huge undertaking. For instance, when I got home from work this afternoon I knew it was going to be at least an hour before dinner. Everyone was off doing various different things, and I had some free time. Instead of getting sucked into a social media time waste, I thought about going for a walk. But then I thought about my next door neighbors. She is a single mom, and her son, who usually mows the yard,  broke his leg last week. He's still in a cast and hasn't been able to get it mowed. So, instead of walking in circles around the neighborhood with buds jammed in my ears, I dragged out the mower and walked in circles around their yard. It was probably a better workout for me too. I'd hoped to get it done before she got home, but she caught me in the act. The was the most welcome "confused" look I've ever seen.

This is what service looks like. And we need to talk about it, and tell others about it, but not to brag on ourselves. We need to brag on Jesus, and we need to model what servanthood looks like. We have to be a model for the younger Christians in our church, and for our families. As I was heading outside, my oldest daughter commented that I was "so kind." I'm glad that she noticed, and that she thinks that. But I also want her to understand that it's not just kindness that leads me to do that.

It's serving Christ by serving others.

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
Numbers 6:24-26 (ESV)

1 comment:

  1. Matt, you are one of the most giving men I know. I can totally see you doing this. Why? Because you have come to our rescue several times. I pray everyone can take a page out of your book and do just that, be intentional. If we all did we would be amazed at the world we could live in and share Christ.