Let’s be honest, ladies, we all serve somebody. So who do you serve? I suspect the answer for most of us is “myself.” That’s not only our sinful inclination, it’s what our world tells us to do. “Look out for number one.” “Follow your bliss.” “Do what feels right for you.” Our culture bombards us with messages like this every day. Let’s label it with its’ true name –SELFISHNESS.
I don’t know about you, but I struggle with this sin every day. Here are a few examples:
My husband forgets to pick up the something I needed on his way home from work. My default response? How could he! I do so many things for him, and he can’t remember this one thing for ME?
My daughter calls and asks me to go to the Dollar Store and pick up something for her class (she is a preschool teacher). She lost track of time and didn’t get to it last night. REALLY? What makes this MY responsibility? I have my own plans for the morning.
Somebody from church calls. We’re selling cobblers at the local Peach Festival and need somebody to work at the stand. OH NO! I’m an introvert and I’M JUST NOT COMFORTABLE around a crowd of strangers. Don’t ask me to do that.
My friend is totally uninterested in the new project in which I’m so involved. She’s MY friend,why isn’t she being more supportive of ME?
Anyway, you get the idea. My first response is to think of myself, what I want, and what seems most comfortable and convenient for me. Here’s what Jesus says about that:
“He answered, ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” Luke 10:27
That means our priorities should go like this:
This doesn’t mean we can never say no. Sometimes we must say no; sometimes it is better for the other person if we say no; sometimes we need to say no because something is definitely out of our skill set. It also doesn’t mean we don’t hold folks accountable or express our feelings — but we need to do this in a gentle, respectful way, not in anger. It does mean that as God’s servants, we can’t allow a selfish mindset to control our actions. Following our own impulses (i.e. serving ourselves) will lead to conflict and broken relationships. Serving God and doing His will leads to peace with God and others. So who do you want to serve?