Daily Devotional

"For even the son of man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many."
Matthew 20:28,

When my wife and I were newly married we heard some advice that has made a huge impact in our relationship. The advice was to try to out-serve each other. It’s a simple shift of mindset, but it makes a huge difference. The goal isn’t trying to top the other one (okay, maybe sometimes) or trying to “pay back” what was done, the goal is to serve and serve and serve and keep serving out of love for the other. It’s not technically a competition because we’re not keeping score, but it’s still fun to try to outdo each other in showing love for each other. I mean, think about it, in a scenario like that everyone wins!

Oftentimes in our culture, we can fall into a being served mentality. When we go to Starbucks, we expect to be served coffee. When we go to a restaurant, we expect to be served food. I had family that lived in Oregon, which is one of only two states that still has full-service gas stations where you actually stay in your car while someone else serves you by pumping your gas.

Imagine the scene if you were at Starbucks and jumped behind the counter to make a coffee for the barista, or at a restaurant if you pulled out a chair for the server and took their order instead, or imagine the scene at an Oregon gas station if you tried to pump your own gas (that last one I don’t have to imagine, I did exactly that and was reprimanded quite severely). Obviously, these would be very unusual things to happen (again, except for the gas station one, I imagine that happens often with out-of-staters like myself) and I’m not suggesting you actually do any of these things, especially since you’d be violating several health codes and laws. What I am saying is what if we switched our mindsets from being served to serving others, not just occasionally, but always?

I admit, it’s easy to fall into a pattern where I expect to be served by others. That is our default setting, and we need to do nothing to operate that way. If we want to put on the attitude of Jesus and actually serve others it will be a daily fight and struggle. We will have to make a concerted effort to serve others. It will cost us, and it won’t always be easy. I’m not trying to discourage you from this task, I just think Jesus was always honest about the cost of following Him and we should be too.

As this New Year begins, imagine what a difference it would make if all of us who follow Jesus actually followed Him and did the things that He did. Imagine the impact if each of us individually decided to flip the normal script of our increasingly self-focused world and sought to serve not ourselves but to instead serve others.
New Living Translation (NLT)
Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright © 1996, 2004, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.