The Bible say that we are born sinners (church term) or self-centered (secular term). We naturally look out for ol’ No. 1.
We have to be taught to share, take turns, and help others — it doesn’t come naturally. We all struggle with this “defect” in ourselves throughout our entire life. Some Christians put on a show of how good they are, but if you get to know them they struggle like everyone else. Other Christians are more honest about their struggle and will admit that they struggle as much or more than anyone else. A good example is St. Paul, who said, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.” (Romans 7:15 NKJ)
The night before Jesus went to the cross, the disciples were arguing over who was the most important among them! You can see in the Bible real people, who struggled and failed miserably. Jesus went and got some water and a towel and came and washed the disciples’ feet. It was a demonstration of serving by Jesus. The next day he gave his life for us sinners (self-centered people). It was the ultimate act of unselfishness — demonstrated for the whole world.
As Disciples of Christ we are called to serve God and others. Opportunities abound at church and in our community to serve God and others. I encourage you to find opportunities to give back to your community and your church. Teach your children or grandchildren to look for opportunities to serve at church and in the community.
Numerous studies have shown that people of all ages, who volunteer and serve their community, have much lower rates of mental illness, criminal acts, etc. We all know we feel better, when we are serving and giving back to the community.
True joy and happiness isn’t found in a life lived for one’s self, but rather a life of giving of one’s self for others. Jesus said it best — “It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35 NKJ).
Written by Rev. Andy Carlson, Sr. M.Div. Pastor Carlson grew up with 22 siblings in a log cabin in the backwoods of Alaska (120 miles from the Arctic Circle). He has served 23 years in the parish (five of those years were as a Navy/Marine chaplain). He is a Gulf War Veteran. He has served Funny River Community Lutheran Church since 2015. Sunday services are at 11 a.m., followed by a lunch that everyone is invited to. The church is located at 15 Mile Funny River Road. (take a right on Rabbit Run and go a 1/4 mile to the church). The church website is www.funnyriverlutheran.org.