Why Do I Serve?
by Sam Zwingli
This summer, I am working on Hear the Cry’s various social media platforms. I promote our trips, encourage project donations, and most importantly, inform Christians about how to act as God’s servants by helping other people. I have been in contact with trip leaders and volunteers about submitting their favorite photos and memories, which you all will be able to read (!), and then I realized I cannot persuade my fellow Christians to serve others unless they know how and why I dedicate a part of my life towards helping other people.
I’m writing this blog post in hopes that people read it and understand not only the merit in volunteering, but that as Christians, that we are called and expected to serve others in the name of God. There are many different ways to help from volunteering at children’s camps, bringing clothes to a homeless shelter, or my personal favorite, international service trips. There are so many opportunities to participate, but why, as Christians, do we need to?
We have gifts and are meant to use them.
Why is it important for me to serve? Because everyone has gifts and skills, and not using them is an injustice to God. 1 Peter 4:10 states that “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace,” and James 1:17 reads that “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” Every person is given a perfect gift from God and this particular talent, whether it be wisdom, knowledge, healing, etc. (1 Corinthians 12:7-11) is meant to be used to serve another person.
For me, that means my brain, passion for human rights, and argumentative style of conversation that I plan to use as a lawyer. I serve others because I was given these talents. My mother has always told me that one day, there will be a people who need my help. How will I find those people if I don’t look? Volunteering internationally is my way of finding where, how, and to whom I can utilize my gifts for. With our gifts, we can create the change that Christ desires.
It is our duty.
Not only were we given gifts, but God has planned how we are to use them. “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance to us to do” (Ephesians 2:10). Do you ever get that tugging sensation in your mind, that feeling that you just know you’re supposed to do something? I personally believe that moment is my mind trying to act in ways that align with what God wants me to do. If you were born with patience and an ability to teach, maybe you were meant to help at a school. If you learn languages easily, serve abroad. Or, for all the future-lawyers out there like myself with a passion for others, for follow Proverbs 31:8-9 and “Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.”
Using our gifts gets us closer to Christ. Matthew 20:28 reads that “Even as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” As Christians, we are called to serve. As stated above, our every skill was given to us with the intention of using it. Jesus Christ did not live a selfish life, his every action was dedicated towards helping others. No one is above helping others, and in order to become as Christ-like as we can, we need to follow his example.
Finally, I help others to learn more about myself. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). God’s plan may not be a simple destination, but a journey. How do you measure your life? How do you measure what good you did in the world? I want to measure how many lives I’ve touched, how many times I made the right decisions, and how I have served the world to the best of my ability. Your knowledge, talents and love for Christ will develop and change throughout your life. Serving others is the first step.
I serve because I was given gifts to help others. I serve to know God better. I serve to learn more about myself. I hope that this little post provides some of the reasons why you should begin helping others; the next step is to begin.