What’s the big deal with getting everyone to serve others? Why not just have everyone serve themselves? After all, that would cut out the trouble of figuring out what other people want.
The fact of the matter is this: God works this way (He serves others), and He wants us to do the same. He’s set it up so serving others accomplishes almost everything He wants for us.
Here’s how. Here are the seven big benefits of serving others. (Watch for overlap. God loves overlap.)
1. Serving creates meaningful thankfulness
Serving is a way to give back that’s actually meaningful and shows we’re really thankful.
Jesus died so we could hang out with God. We say we’re thankful for that. We say it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to us. But if that’s the case, shouldn’t our live be totally different? I mean, what would happen if someone gave you a new house or a million dollars? Wouldn’t your life change?
Serving others is the result of truly realizing what Jesus did for us. We actually want to tell everyone in the world about it, not just through what we say but also through what we do.
Serving others is the result of our insane thankfulness. That’s the motivation behind serving. That’s why we serve. Because serving gives us a way to live thankfulness.
2. Serving blesses the person you’re serving
Perhaps the most obvious of obvious benefits, serving others actually serves others. Who knew!
Serving makes the world a better place.
It’s the same reason so many world changers try to serve others too, or at least look like that’s what they’re doing. They know that pulling it off is world changing. Problem is, they don’t have the support to actually do it completely selflessly.
But we do. Or should.
3. Serving encourages other Christians
When other believers see you serving others, they get fired up. Don’t discount the power of peer pressure, or peer motivation.
“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ…” -Ephesians 4:11-12
4. Serving non-Christians opens them to Christ
As far as practical benefits go, this is probably the biggest. Serving others includes sharing the gospel, but that’s not what it’s all about. Serving others, as you might have noticed from the articles around here, includes mundane stuff like taking pictures, playing cards, or baking cookies.
All those mundane things add up. And someday someone somewhere will notice and ask about it. And you’ll have opened someone to the gospel. How much is that worth?
By the way, check out this video with Lee Strobel sharing a practical example of this.
5. Serving glorifies God for other non-Christians
We can’t serve everyone. But almost everyone can see the example in the few people we can serve.
See, when Jesus came to earth, He tried to taught that we’re supposed to build our reputation around serving others, caring for people, and loving them.
“By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:35
When we serve others, people notice. When they see us serving, they see part of God’s nature. They can still reject it, but it’s much harder to reject when they can see it at work, even if we’re not serving them directly.
6. Serving honors God
Even if no one else sees you, even if no one else cares, God sees and God cares. Yep, it’s cheesy and cliche, but that’s because we repeat it over and over again without really doing much about it.
“If anyone ministers, let him do it as with the ability which God supplies, that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the dominion forever and ever…” -1 Peter 4:11
Serving is success whether anyone else cares or not.
7. Serving encourages yourself
Encouragement is amazing like this. When you encourage someone else, the encouragement comes back around to you. It’s a side effect, and it works two ways.
First, serving others often means learning amazing things and reminding others of these amazing things. But guess what? In the process, you remind yourself, which builds you up too.
For example, if you share the Bible to encourage someone else, you’ll find you’re building yourself up because you’re in the Bible also.
Second, the response from others is infectious. Of course, it won’t always be outstanding – sometimes, people won’t care. But when they do, you’ll know you contributed, through God’s grace, to their growth. And that is totally encouraging.
For example, when you help someone overcome a temptation, you also end up with even more motivation to flee that temptation because you see the amazing results in your friend, to say nothing of the accountability that’s built in.
It’s a big cycle.
- You’re encouraged, which means…
- You’ll want to serve even more, which means…
- You’ll get even more encouraged, which means…
- You’ll want to serve even more, which means…
Well, you get the idea. The process repeats over and over again. Like a body healing itself, it’s just the way it’s designed.
We serve because of what God’s done, and the more we serve, the more God does. That’s why serving others is so, so amazing.
(1) Serve others. Get caught in the serving cycle where serving leads to more serving and more serving.
(2) What are some practical examples of how these benefits have worked out in your life? Pick one of these seven and share a personal story in the comments.