As we are stepping into the final full month of Summer 2020, I have been reflecting on how I would describe this summer and what I have learned through Ten2, volunteering with my church, and my time with God. To simply sum it up in one word it would be service. Serving my church and the young families that attend. Taking part in a mission’s organization so that I can feel better equipped to go out and serve. Serving the people around me to meet their needs.
One particular area I have put much thought into is serving others versus serving God. As a believer, God commands us to serve those around us and to give of our time and resources with a cheerful attitude. But there is a difference between serving others for the glory of God, as opposed to serving others for their approval. A book I have been reading this summer by the author, Jen Wilkin, called None Like Him, proves time and time again that every human has limits, but God is limitless. When reflecting on these words, it put into perspective for me and made me question why we put so much pressure on pleasing people versus pleasing God when they have limited authority, power, and control over our lives. As Christians, why do we spend so much time obsessing on people who have a limit, when we can spend a lifetime discovering the treasures of a God who is limitless?
Of course, as a believer, we are to happily serve those around us. Serving is one of the most powerful ways to share God’s love with others without saying a word. But if our service is not for the Lord and with the thought to please God and to be a witness to non-believers, the service becomes limited. Our happiness to serve will not last. We might get frustrated that we are not being appreciated enough, or our focus is primarily on making one particular person happy versus making the one limitless God pleased.
After applying what God has been teaching me this summer, I realize that I should go into my job wanting to serve the company well, not because my goal is to make them happy, but because God has blessed me with work, and serving others is a gift, not a chore. Making a conscious decision to serve others with the initial mindset of giving God the glory, will hopefully opening up a conversation that why I want to serve is because my service is eternal. If my God’s goodness for me knows no bounds, then my service to God should be unlimited. To serve God is to know God; and to know God is to gain His wisdom.
What God has taught me this summer is that I should want to serve others because it serves an eternal Kingdom. Therefore, my focus is on the glory of an unlimited God, and not on the happiness of a limited human.
– Juliette Peterson, Ten2 2020 Participant & Storyteller