As Christians, we are called to serve others but to be a servant is more than a notion. It requires action. To be a servant of God means that we are willing to put our faith first. We genuinely care about the well-being of others, even the people society considers unlovable or unthinkable. Jesus encourages us to follow His lead and serve one another. After washing His disciples feet which was a great act of love, humility and service, Jesus said, “I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you” (John 13:15). In this moment, Jesus sets an example for us to follow. Jesus not only led by serving, but He also loved by serving, never placing Himself in a position above others. He washed feet. He fed thousands. He visited and healed the sick and the dead. He spent time with those no one else cared to spend time with. Jesus lived a life of humility. We can do the same through giving. Here are six benefits of giving you haven’t considered.
It’s a way to place others first in your day to day.
Jesus thought of others before He thought of Himself. He poured Himself out and gave Himself away. You are following Jesus’ example when you place others first in your day-to-day. Think about the needs of others and how you can place them before your own. Philippians 2:3-4 says, “Do nothing of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Does someone you work with or go to church not have transportation? Offer them a ride. Do you see a struggling mom at the store? Let her get in line before you. Placing others first is characteristic of a servant of God. In addition, the Bible tells us to treat others how we would like them to treat us; so if we want people to put us before ourselves, it’s important that we do the same.
It’s a simple act of kindness that can go a long way.
Everything good we experience in life is a gift from God. In fact, this is where good starts. Jesus doesn’t owe anything; He has no debts to repay. His blessings are all significant and serve the purpose of human life. Whatever good we are capable of doing is only possible because God gave us the means. We can give to others by performing simple acts of kindness. One great initiative is Giving Tuesday, a global day of giving that encourages small acts of kindness. You can do this through charitable donations, volunteering time or calling others to give through social platforms. If you are inspired to give, international faith-based organizations, like CMMB, will match your donations through Dec 31st to help families in need. For these families they are supporting in crisis, one small donation can go a long way.
It’s a way to evaluate where you’re being called.
If you want to give more to benefit others, you need to first look at your own schedule. Are you doing too much? Do you have too much on your plate? Are you keeping those things on your list because of appearances? Giving allows you to see that it’s more important to do things that matter. Allow Jesus to free up your time. Ask Him to show you each day what needs to be done and what can be set aside. Not having so many things on your to-do list will free you up to more opportunities to give back, serve others and recognize where and when you’re being called.
It will change your heart.
Another great benefit of giving you haven’t considered is what it does to your heart. Helping others will change your heart from the inside out. Is your heart struggling to love others? If so, ask God for a heart change and be open to Him working, stretching and changing it. When He does this, it may bring up some things you may not have wanted to see and things you need to address and work on, but asking God to do this is completely worth it. God has the power to change your heart and teach you to love others with kindness and compassion. Giving back is one big way we can do this.
It’s a way to listen to God.
We have to listen to God’s call first before we can give. One of the best ways to find opportunities to give and serve others is to ask God to what He is saying to you. Really take time to listen where He is directing you. If you call on Him, He will certainly answer. You should be ready to jump in wherever the Holy Spirit is leading you.
It’s a great way to exemplify God by helping others.
If you are looking for a way to touch lives with the love and hope of Jesus Christ, consider giving back through volunteering. We serve God by serving others and we must have a servant’s heart to do that. Jesus measured greatness in terms of service, not status. God determines your greatness by how many people you serve, not how many people serve you. Volunteer in your community. There are countless ways to serve those around you from donating blood to the Red Cross to serving food at a homeless shelter. God often tests our hearts by asking us to serve in places we didn’t know we were being called.
Ephesians 2:10 says, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). We should keep this in mind when we think about our giving. We have the incredible opportunities as Christians to follow God’s lead to love and serve those around us. Are you ready to answer His call?