It is my prayer that every Christian recognizes the importance of serving God through the way we serve others. There are few things, if any, that are as emotionally exhilarating, and draining, as the task of serving others. Having worked in a variety of ministry settings, including various roles within Christian camp ministry, I understand the excitement that often comes with the beginning of a new ministry or ministry season. I also understand the weariness than can develop when our focus begins to drift away from the ministry of serving and onto ourselves.
This is day six in the second week of devotions from the book, “Serving God: Devotions for Active Worship”. This devotional book is laid out in thirteen weeks of daily devotions with each week wrapped around an aspect of how we can serve others. Each of these devotions are designed to help a person spend time with God to see how serving others is an act of worship.
Contentment With Basic Needs
“But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that. People who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge men into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.“
1 Timothy 6:8-10 (NIV)
What do you need? What do you act like you need? Would the lists of the answers to those two questions be different? Why? How difficult do you think it would be to actually be content if all you had was food and clothing? What makes our “stuff” so hard to give up? How might a lack of contentment with basic needs keep us from serving others as we should? Do you think the people you serve need the same things you do? Do you act like they need what you have?
Our culture has become very good at convincing us that most of the things we want are actually things that we need. It hasn’t really been a hard sell because we tend to go out of our way to justify obtaining anything and everything that we think will make our life complete. When called upon to serve, many people feel they can’t because they are enslaved to the payments required for all the things they simply can’t live without. Yet when it comes to serving those who have less than us, how often do we refuse to share because “they don’t need all of those things”? As you pray, ask God to help you learn contentment with less. Pray that you would be more willing to serve as you learn the true needs that everyone has.