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Planning to serve

May 10, 2010

Philippians 2:3-4  ‘Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.’ (New Living Translation)

I am a fairly driven guy with most days having a clear plan with just about every moment accounted for.  Like today: I organised what I was going to do today last week.  In fact last week I organised in quite a bit of detail what I will be doing for the next few weeks.  And then this morning something came up that wasn’t planned for: a friend was in need and I had to make a decision, do I support them or stick to my plan? What if I fall behind in the work I have to do?  For a moment I really did question how much I should help my friend, which is a little sad to admit.  Thankfully I made the right choice, I set my work aside and focused on them.

I need to make plans, plans are a good way of making sure that things are completed, but I shouldn’t be so consumed by my own plans that I ignore opportunities to serve others.  And as I check out the above Philippians reading, that is what stands out:  cultivate an interest in other people, in serving other people.

One of the things that bugs me when I go into a store is when the staff make you feel like you are interrupting them when in fact their key task is to serve me. Well in the same way I can allow my own interest to get in the way of serving others.  Serving others is actually a really important part of my faith.

I think the approach I will take moving forward is to plan as usual, but be flexible enough to serve others when needed.  And this is a change to my attitude, I need to be ready to serve others way more often than I do now.  I am actually quite selfish and this reading is a big wake up call, and for that I praise God!

God bless ya,

Mark

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Yahweh’s Yarn in a Year : 1 year Bible reading plan

The portions for today are: 2 Samuel 5-9; and Psalm 51-53;

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16 Comments
  1. LYNN SICARD permalink

    MARK,THIS IS A VERY GOOD SHARING AND ONE THAT IF WE ARE HONEST, WILL LIKE YOU ADMIT WE ARE SHELFISH TO A POINT.THANK YOU SO VERY MUCH FOR YOUR HONESTY. I USED TO BE A VERY SHELFISH PERSON AT ONE TIME.THEN GOD OPEN THE DOORST TO A JOB IN A NURSING HOME AND THEN HOUSEKEEPER FOR THE ELDERLY, THEN PERSONAL CARE TO HANDICAPPED AND DISABLED PEOPLE. GOD PUT ME IN JOBS OF SERVICE TO OTHERS,AND I’M SO THANKFUL HE DID. NOT ONLY WAS I BLESSED BY DOING FOR OTHERS, I WAS BLESSED WITH A NEW HEART AND MANY NEW AMAZING FRIENDS IN THE PEOPLE I WORKED FOR. IT ALSO PREPARED ME FOR MINISTRY AND SERVICE TO MY GOD.AND I FOUND IT TO BE SO VERY TRUE THAT IT IS MORE BLESSED TO GIVE THAN TO RECEIVE. GOD BLESS YOU MARK.

  2. Godwin Oyibo permalink

    Bro Mark, this is a great message! Shortly before i read your piece, i got a need request from a friend for something that i also really need. But i said to myself, what is the big deal? Afterall, God would use me to put a smile on someone’ face. This to me is great gain! God bless u.

  3. Neil Price permalink

    Thank you for this reading reading Mark, it hit spot on! Sometimes our selfish side comes out without realizing it. Thanks be to God for His Word to remind us that, as He did when He came to earth, humbly and meekly serving us, we must serve Him in return. Bless you and many thanks!

  4. Thank you for this Scripture. I’ve been dealing with this issue for several days. I knew my attitude was wrong, but hadn’t figured out what to replace the old habit with. I am very ‘list’ driven, so this is definitely going to be a challenge for me.

  5. Grisel permalink

    Mark,

    This is a good reading for me today because I’ve been struggling about the idea of serving others when I can’t even help myself! I was left with a substantial debt from my ex-boyfriend which I helped because he was having finances problems. I just found out that he’s thinking about going to Dominican Republican on a mission trip to serve The Lord when he still owes me money and others as well!!!

    When you mentioned to be flexible and try to help others even when struggling with our own dilemmas, does this mean I should understand my ex-boyfriend and support him??? I’m so confused! He goes to church and prays about his faith but he left me in a very stressful situation no matter how much I tried to help him and make him understand that his priorities weren’t in order!

    Am I being selfish about all these? I’m haven’t been able to serve The Lord in any way because of the stress that my financial life is causing me, I have to save every cent, every drop of my gas, I’m even eating snack bars to not spend so much in groceries. I’m mad at my ex for him being so not caring and here he is thinking about traveling and helping others when he can’t even help himself!

    Please, advice me on this, I’m so struggling so bad with my own feelings. I don’t want to hate him, I would like to be happy for him wanting to help others and serve, but then why I’m not? Thank you.

  6. What happened to being able to give only what we can give and not what other’s expect us to give them? I am always strugling with that. The guilt and the question of… “I’m going to give what I can with out taking away from myself and my goals.” By doing that am I not really giving to other’s humbly? Am I not giving it my all with-out selfishness? I don’t want to be taken advantage of and then have to deal with the burden that other’s tend to leave on you, but then – am I really not giving all that I can give? Please help me clarify that.

    God Bless

  7. Dutch Hofstetter permalink

    That’s awesome, Mark! Spontaneous prayer is really great to and immediate obedience! The Lord Jesus Christ wants us to do what He wants us to do, not what we think we should do!

  8. louisa permalink

    Hi, this scripture is so great and realy tells us straigt to stop being selfish. Growing up a only child i was very selfish… but when i became born again i soon found out that life is not just around me but my cristian friends are now my family and i had to love them for who thy are. I now live in not my own country, but the people realy showed me so mutch suport when i was ill. And thy hardly knew me .. i give the Glory to God who watched over me and showed me that thy were not thinking of them selfs only but realy wanted to know if i was all right even if we dont understand each other verbaly.. thy were concerned of me . Now that is not being selfish… wow For years i always have been concerned about my nabours and hope thy will get well or ask about there well being . Thankyou … God is faithfull and always shows us the right ways…

  9. Well said! I cannot say how many times I’ve gotten my day or week or heck next five minutes mapped out to find myself faced with serving another. And while it does sometimes begin grudgingly I do try to remember that God wouldn’t have sent them or the situation my direction if there wasn’t something He wanted me to do or learn from it. My serving heart isn’t as gracious as it should be but it is getting better…excellent post!

  10. jim g permalink

    the whole idea is that it isn’t our time but Gods. A particular phrase that keeps coming to mind is “Time is but a measure of Gods mercy.” I don’t recall where this came from or if it is just the Holy Spirit reminding me that we are just sojourner here on earth. A dear brother in Christ just found out that he has terminal brain cancer and has only weeks to go. My first thought was of jealousy because he is to meet the Lord but then I know that soon I’ll be with him again so it isn’t a good bye but a “I see you on the other side.” I’ve still got work to do on this side of the grave and I”ll care on till then. In Christs love and power I do nothing but what I’m lead to do.

  11. sandee hanson permalink

    You can plan plan just not the results.

  12. Lydia Reyes permalink

    I guess we all go thru the same thing in thinking only about ourselves first, but as we continue to grow as christians we get better at thinking, not as the world wants but as Jesus would want us to do . It is wonderful that the scriptures can point out and show us the right way to go. You show such humility in admitting weakness and depending upon the word of God to give you a fix in life. Thank you for sharing, Mark. It has help me alot.

  13. Diem Le permalink

    Thank you Mark for today teaching. As I read your word sharing it make me more desire to serve other as my family and people around me who have no God. It hard without God but I believe Jesus with me help me make it through. I don’t feel crying no more but just have faith in Jesus Christ believe God open door for me new job. I expect great things from God. I learned not think my way but God way.

  14. Sister Pam OP permalink

    I used to be someone who had every minute accounted for. I was efficient and accomplished many tasks. What I discovered was that this was not what people expected of me and I was very unhappy. It was an addiction. I have changed. Sometimes people are upset with me because I am not as punctual or task oriented as I used to be, but other all, my relationships with others and God have improved by leaps and bounds. Making God and others the priorities always works.

  15. Larry permalink

    Hard to be humble when you are in the top ten.
    LOL
    We all need to realize the Lord gives, the Lord takes away, and the Lord is in control!
    Praise be to the Lord Jesus Christ!
    Larry

  16. Julie Dilworth permalink

    These moments are called holy interruptions. 🙂

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