Tuesday, June 9, 2009

A Willing Service

This post MAY BE taken in wrongly, as CHURCH BASHING, but NO, that is not the intention of this post, but my reflections and my thoughts.


The other day when I was listening to a ‘Cheerful Giving’ message from Joseph Prince (can’t remember which CD it is), it got me thinking about giving cheerfully.

After listening to it, some things stuck to my mind. One of the things which came to my mind (which JP DIDN’T touch on) was on Christian service.

When I started my Christian walk in my previous church, I realised that most often when I was there, I was called to ‘carry the cross’, ‘deny myself’ and to ‘serve the Lord’. And personally, in the past, I’ve arrived at points in life where I didn’t want to serve because I’ve felt somewhat abandoned to do it, unsupported, and wearied by it.

It just seems taxing that when we are all called (as my previous church calls it), we are left to ‘work out our salvation in fear and trembling’. (it made me doubt the surety of salvation when I did not want to serve)

Hence, when I decided to pull back and not continue in that service, I (felt like) was given a squinted condemning eye, and often pulled aside and given a mini pep talk by the elder, or having brothers coming up to me asking “what happened?” [Personally, I believe this is still happening in many churches].

Firstly, such things made people feel bad. It made me feel like God is using these people to arm-twist me to serve. It seems like an invasion of my free-will. Such things made me feel that if I do not serve, I’m not a ‘good’ Christian – or that I’m going against God’s will.

Secondly, whatever I gave could not be my best. I was doing for the sake of doing. How can I overflow blessings out, when deep inside, I was dry? What you get from an empty cup is empty.

Thirdly, church members’ reaction were negative. Rather than exhibit grace, there were a lot of backstabbing and gossiping - and none said to my face.


So after listening to that sermon, I came to a conclusion – that God Loves a cheerful giver – not just in sowing to the needy (financially) or sowing the word of God (in preaching or encouragement). But also in service!

I came to the conclusion that – God loves a cheerful service.

However, at that time I came to that conclusion, I didn’t have any word from God to support it.
Today I was pleasantly surprised that God confirmed this message to me!
1 Peter 5:
Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be;

Be Shepherds not because you must, but because you are willing.

1 Peter 5:2 of The Amplified Bible describes PERFECTLY what I’m saying today.
Tend (nurture, guard, guide, and fold) the flock of God that is [your responsibility], not by coercion or constraint, but willingly; not dishonorably motivated by the advantages and profits [belonging to the office], but eagerly and cheerfully;

Hence Application:
1) If you feel FORCED into a position/leadership/duty of God, don’t do it. It’s better you let it go and let someone else to do it cheerfully.
2) Don’t be afraid to voice out to your leaders about how you feel about the service that you do and how it can be improved.
3) Don’t force people to serve, and don’t make them feel bad about not serving. Don’t judge them for not wanting to help.
4) If serving causes your ego to puff up, stop serving.
5) If you feel that your service is dishonourably motivated, or that a leader above you is so, then quit.

May you be blessed and serve God in the right and cheerful manner! :)

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