The second descriptor for our value of Being Servants is:
Building God’s church and extending his kingdom requires sacrificial service. It can’t happen at our convenience, just fitted in when we can around the rest of our lives. Consumer Christians do not build church. So we resolve to serve with commitment, doing things well and seeing things through. We realise that it will cost us but we have resolved, like King David, not to give to the Lord anything that doesn’t cost us (2 Samuel 24:24), whether we are talking about money, or our time and energy in service. And we do not serve begrudgingly, resenting the cost, but gladly and generously as an overflow of hearts of gratitude for what Jesus has done for us. We also serve with integrity – if we say we will do something, we do it, and we do it to the best of our ability.
Having said all that, we also recognise the importance of healthy boundaries. We do not work for the Lord such that it jeopardises our relationship with him or with our families, or damages our health. We do not allow ourselves be pressurised or coerced into particular areas of service but our serving flows from pure hearts and free choices. The best way to avoid the unhealthy violation of boundaries is to apply what Paul writes about money to our service also.
Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.2 Cor.9:7
We should all serve. But we should all serve because we have made quality decisions of the heart to do so. That may arise because we feel called to do something, or it may arise because we see a need and want to be part of meeting it. Whichever it is, we have made a quality decision of the heart and we take responsibility for that decision.
Another way of ensuring that we don’t violate our own boundaries is to make sure our work for the Lord comes out of our work with the Lord. We prioritise relationship with him first, like Mary, rather than working for him, like Martha (Luke 10:38-42). Then all our service is done gladly in his presence and out of intimacy. It also comes out of a heart-revelation that servanthood and service are essential principles of his kingdom. We have learned the way of Jesus which enables us to see serving as the most royal thing we can do.
“We reign with the heart of a servant and serve with the heart of a king, all for the benefit of the people around us.Bill Johnson