Category Archives: Service

Happiness Is Fulfilling Your Raison d’Etre

frankl“It is the very pursuit of happiness that thwarts happiness.” Viktor Frankl, Austrian neurologist/psychologist, Holocaust survivor

We think we’d be happy if we received everything we ask for in life.  Living the American Dream means fulfilling your purpose and desires in this lifetime – landing the right career, marrying the right person, having the happy family in the right neighborhood.  There’s nothing wrong with the aforementioned goals, but the problem with it is that if you do not achieve a certain milestone by a certain date within your timeline, you could potentially set yourself up for misery.  Herein lies the danger: you don’t feel happy until you reach that milestone.

What happens in the meantime?  What if it takes so long to attain the goal that you begin to think it’s never going to happen?

Each human being has his or her own reason for being, but Jesus gives us the ultimate purpose:

 “[W]hoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave – just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom to many.” Matthew 20:26-28

With His own life, Jesus demonstrated His reason for being, and that was to serve others, not to be served.   

 “In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work, we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than receive.’” Acts 20:35

The everlasting cure to your current unhappiness is living for Jesus.  Serving the poor, helping the less fortunate according to your talents and abilities, and living to serve others for the common good will do more for your soul’s contentment than simply reaching the goals that satisfy you individually.

“For everyone looks out for their own interests, not those of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 2:21

“No one should seek their own good but the good of others.” 1 Corinthians 10:24

“Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.” – Romans 15:2

“For I am not seeking my own good, but the good of many, that they may be saved.” 1 Corinthians 10:33

There’s plenty of research to back up these biblical teachings.  In a TIME Magazine article, Jenny Santi wrote:

Scientific research provides compelling data to support the anecdotal evidence that giving is a powerful pathway to personal growth and lasting happiness. Through fMRI technology, we now know that giving activates the same parts of the brain that are stimulated by food and sex. Experiments show evidence that altruism is hardwired in the brain—and it’s pleasurable. Helping others may just be the secret to living a life that is not only happier but also healthier, wealthier, more productive, and meaningful.

Everybody who’s anybody in your life can benefit from a helping hand extended by you.  They could be your friend, a family member, a colleague, a stranger, an old lady crossing the street, the beggar standing at the corner when you exit the freeway ramp… If you make it your mission to serve others with Jesus’s best interest at heart, you will have a rich and satisfying life!

 “The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy.  My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.”  John 10:10

#happiness #commongood #Jesus #Christ #musingz4life #serveothers #serve

 

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As Iron Sharpens Iron

pr 27 17“You just want to be safe.  But life is scary, and it gets interesting when it’s scary because then it requires trusting in God.”  These words came from a wise woman who is like a mother figure to me.  I love conversations with older, wiser people who have been there, done that, and they have experienced life without God and know how blessed it is to live life with and for God.

As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another – Proverbs 27:17

When it comes to sharpening one another spiritually, I think we need to talk about that more often at church.  We talk about grace, forgiveness and salvation a lot, which is great, but what about after you become a Christian and have made Jesus Lord of your life?  If you’re like me, having come from a disadvantaged situation, it’s likely that you may not have had ideal parental role models who continually coach and guide you even after you have “grown up.”  Teaching should not stop after we “come of age,” but we should continually seek wisdom from older, wiser individuals whom we respect spiritually, personally and professionally.

Teaching is not just reserved for the young, either.  Even older men and women need to be taught, as Paul wrote to Titus:

You, however, must teach what is appropriate to sound doctrine.Teach the older men to be temperate, worthy of respect, self-controlled, and sound in faith, in love and in endurance.

Likewise, teach the older women to be reverent in the way they live, not to be slanderers or addicted to much wine, but to teach what is good. Then they can urge the younger women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled and pure, to be busy at home, to be kind, and to be subject to their husbands, so that no one will malign the word of God.

 Similarly, encourage the young men to be self-controlled. In everything set them an example by doing what is good. In your teaching show integrity, seriousness and soundness of speech that cannot be condemned, so that those who oppose you may be ashamed because they have nothing bad to say about us.

 11 For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.12 It teaches us to say “No” to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, 13 while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, 14 who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good.

 15 These, then, are the things you should teach. Encourage and rebuke with all authority. Do not let anyone despise you.

Titus 2:1-15

Scriptures are the ultimate authority, of course, but if there are spiritually mature people in your church who could guide you, why not ask for a mentor?  Everyone has blind spots; we need to grow as people!  Spiritual maturity is biblical:

11 So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves,and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will grow to become in every respect the mature body of him who is the head, that is, Christ. 16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Ephesians 4:11-16

What is the purpose of maturity?   Is it just so you can be a better person and that’s it?  According to the scriptures, Christ gave leadership to his people, the church, so that these leaders may equip Christians for works of service.  In other words, the role of leadership is to equip you for works of service, so that you may become mature.

Leadership does not have to be a title.  If you can find someone in your church that you respect, that person can be a leader in your life to help equip you, whether that means calling you out on your character so you can repent and grow, or calling you out of your comfort zone.  Maturity is not all about you, anyway.  It’s all about becoming a better worker for the Lord so we can serve and meet one another’s needs in the body of Christ.

#grow #repent #serve #Christ #BodyofChrist #maturity #growth #ServeOneAnother #musingz4life #discipling #mentor #mentoring #coach #coaching