Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken. Ecclesiastes 4:9-12
I really like this verse above. It makes me think about the importance of community and reaching the lost. Have we lost sight in how to reach others? Do we care about people? Do we stay at home on the weekends instead of serving? I really want to address the fact that we, as believers in Messiah, have a hard time dropping our pride and going out and serving God’s people. Let’s start with the root of this, forgiveness.
Quick to Forgive
I know there are truly cruel people in the world. People don’t always please you, they don’t always speak kindly, and sometimes they, “stab you in the back.” I get it. There are also people in church who do not always agree with you 100%. And some people leave fellowships because they disagree with one thing. But, that shouldn’t make us hate people, our generation, our society, or God’s church. I understand the faults, but when Jesus died on the cross, He died for those people too. We need to be quick to forgive even when they really hurt you. I know this is a hard concept, I struggle with it too. Being quick to forgive will empower you to move forward and not live in constant anger towards that person or congregation. I once heard a quote that said,
“Not forgiving someone is like drinking poison and expecting that person to die.”
Isn’t that a powerful statement? Having unforgiveness actually hurts you. You may think it’s hurting that person, or group, but it is poisoning you. Your prayers can be hindered by not forgiving others as well. So be quick to forgive. Jesus will judge you in the manner that you judge others; so be careful.
Being kind is one of the best things we can do. Kindness leads us to repentance. God is so kind: we must be like Him! When you’re prideful and snotty, no one is going to want to hang around you or want to follow the God you serve. But when we’re kind and loving to people, it leads them to repentance, a desire to know the God you serve, and then they want to be around you. A smile is contagious. Smile at people.
I was driving home from my job the other day and I saw an older man standing by the road. He looked like he needed a ride, but I was driving without my husband with me and I had my baby girl in the backseat, so it wouldn’t be safe for me to pick up a stranger. He looked really sad, but as I passed him I waved at him and gave him a big smile as if he were one of my closest friends. His whole body language changed. He gave me a huge smile back and stood up straight. As I lost sight of him in my mirror I prayed for him. I spoke blessing about him and I prayed that someone would give him the ride he needed and that he would be blessed. Sometimes that is all you can do. Smile, speak life, and be kind. Who knows, maybe all he needed was for someone to smile at him. You never know what others are going through. Let the Holy Spirit lead you to speak to people, to give that person a smile when they need it. God knows what we all need: amen? So if God is telling you to go tell that person, “Hello,” or “Have a blessed day,” while they walk by; then do it. Just be kind.
Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1 Peter 5:6-7
Serve Others In Humility
God calls us to serve His people, and ultimately serve Him. Whatever it is that you do for others, do it with humility and kindness. Nobody wants a snotty or prideful servant. If you have a bad attitude while serving, then what’s the point of serving? You are wasting the opportunity to help someone by making that person feel bad about asking you to help. If you grumble and complain while, “helping” someone, then you are spoiling your treasure in Heaven. It is my opinion, that if you have a haughty or rotten attitude while serving in church or anywhere else, then it is in vain. Because I feel like God will not give you a reward or blessing for being prideful while “helping.”
Don’t help people in order to get praised for it or noticed. We help to serve God.
Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for human masters, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is the Lord Christ you are serving. Colossians 3:23-24
Do you think God wants to have your help if all you’re going to do is complain about it? I think He would rather do the work Himself then hear you whine about it. Amen? So when you’re serving, serve. No strings attached, no whining, just keep your mouth shut and praise the one who gave you the chance to serve! Cause if you don’t serve, He’ll just send someone else who will do it with humility and love.
Whatever You Do, Do It With Love
Everything God does is motivated in love. He loves us. He is just, He is humble, He is loving. We must pray for these same qualities. God is calling us to be His church. We cannot raise others up in Him without humility and kindness. You have not arrived yet, humble yourself. Even if you think you’re doing amazing, remember, you can always do better. We are learning and growing everyday. Be motivated in love and compassion for people. When Jesus died on the cross it was motivated by love and compassion. The least we can do is do the same for others.
Written by Olivia Mancini