Serve Others To Serve God and Yourself

Is it just me or does the Bible seem to contradict itself at times?

Probably just me.

And since this blog is a place for me to work these kinds of things out through writing and sharing with others, let’s see where this goes and if I can bring it back to the title 😉

(And oh yeah, if you’re wondering what this has to do with business… roll with me… I think you’ll see the connection.)

Onward…

In Exodus 23:25 the scriptures say “…you shall serve the Lord your God.”

In Joshua 22:5 it says to “…serve Him (God) with all your heart and all your soul.”

Cool. I get it. Serve God.

Then we roll into part two of the good Word and find this verse:

“As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another…”

That verse comes from I Peter 4:10

Sooooo… are we to serve God or are we to serve others?

What about that whole “serving two masters” thing found in Matthew 6:24. That verse says: “No one can serve two masters; for he will either hate the one and love the other, or he will hold to one and despise the other.”

Hmmmm. Let’s recap where we are right now:

Serve God.
Serve Others.
No one can serve two masters.

Ok. See what I mean by the Bible can seem like it contradicts itself?

So how do we make sense of this?
[side note: If you truly believe God is all-knowing, all-powerful and well… all-all… then trying to figure Him out is a bit silly. But hey, we’ve opened this can o’ worms so let’s be silly a while longer]

My pastor likes to use the term “through man method”… and by “man” we mean that God chooses to use people to get His work done on this planet. Maybe on another planet in another universe He’s trying something different – who knows – but from what I can tell, here on Earth, God chooses to work through us and with us to accomplish His works.

Now this can not be easy for an all-all guy like God.

Think about it…

Have you ever let your kid or a friend go ahead and do something their way when you KNEW it was going to end badly?

Why did you do that? To teach them something they couldn’t learn any other way, right? (That or you’re just cruel which is what some people think about God but we’ll leave that for another post.)

Where was I?

Ah yes… God let’s us be involved even though he knows it’s probably slower and less effective than if He did it on his own.

Fortunately, God doesn’t leave us totally out on our own.

You see, according to I Peter 4:10, God gives us a special gift for these “through man” encounters. And when we use these gifts to serve others, we are actually serving God by fulfilling on God’s design.

And when we don’t use this special gift to serve others (like a rebellious kid) we ignore what God is trying to do in the world and do our own thing. And when we do our own thing without God’s support and favor, we are fighting an uphill battle.

However, when we us the gift(s) God gave us to serve the people He is trying to help then… WAIT…I’m about to use ALGEBRA!… Remember this: If A=B and B=C then A=C.

If we serve others and serving others serves God and what He’s up to then we are serving God.

If we serve others and serving others serves God and what He’s up to then we are serving God.

Now here’s where it gets really good…

Because we are working in alignment with God and using the gifts He gave us and being who He created us to be… we greatly increase our chance at success in ALL areas of our lives.

We’re serving others so our RELATIONSHIPS are going to be better because we’re outward focused.

Our IDENTITY will be stronger because we are stepping into and using our gifts which builds confidence.

Our ENTERPRISES (Business or Otherwise) will flourish because we’re adding value to the world.

And because we’ll be energized by all this our emotional FITNESS will be much stronger and we’ll likely feel more like working out and taking care of our bodies.

In other words, by serving others we serve God and when we serve God we ultimately serve ourselves because we are in alignment with His best for us. And THAT is a very good place to be.

Whew! BIG EXHALE…

Listen, I know this is a simple look at a very complex idea. I get it. My hope is that this post will get you thinking… to get you off autopilot and on to considering your gifts and if you are really using them to serve others. If not, why not?

Seriously, why not?

And if you are using your gifts to serve others, THANK YOU.

Solution Session: In your journal or on the nearest piece of paper or on the notes in your phone or Evernote… Write down as many of your gifts as you can think of – anything that serves others in any way is fair game. Do you host great dinner parties? Write that down – that’s a gift of hospitality. Are you an artist? Art makes people feel and we need more people feeling. Don’t be shy or reserved. This is for you and you alone. Once you have your list, go out and serve someone in some way today.

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