Don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.
Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love.
Galatians 5:13 NLT
I noticed the handicap van they drove and knew it was my time to serve.
Saturday morning. My wife and I were in the middle of packing for our move later in the month when we ran out of boxes. She suggested I stop by McDonald’s and grab us lunch after I picked up a few boxes. As I waited in the drive-through line, I noticed an older couple in a handicapped accessible van pull slowly through the parking lot and take their place behind me.
Monthly, my daughter pays for the person behind her when she buys food from Chick-fil-a. I had never done this before but on this day felt God’s Spirit nudging me. I questioned myself. What if they have 10 more people in the van with them? I decided to act rather than doubt. When I approached the window to pay for my food, I told the attendant to put their tab on mine. It was an insignificant amount, but the feeling I received by obeying God’s prompting was unsurpassed.
Believers have been freed from sin’s penalty. The blood of Christ has washed their sins away. Rather than using that freedom to indulge in sinful practices, Paul says we should use it to serve others. By doing so, we are obeying the second greatest command—serving Christ, and advancing God’s Kingdom.
Serving others will bring joy if I do it with the right attitude. Serving with reluctance won’t work. When I serve reluctantly, I feel hesitation because I’m doing something I really don’t want to do. Serving with joy requires letting God change the way I look at situations. What I give through my act of service is not being forced from my hand. Rather, I’m allowing the act to slip away as a form of appreciation for what Christ has done for me.
Nor should I serve with ulterior motives. If I brag about what I’ve done, the spotlight shines on me instead of God. Jesus said not to let my right hand know what my left hand was doing. He also warned about standing on a street corner and announcing what I’ve done for Him. My motive in serving is for God to receive praise, not me.
Serve with joy, not because you feel forced or because you want recognition.