Gratitude in serving is found when we serve with the purpose to show God’s love. So many times, when we think of serving, we think about how we can serve in church.
When was the last time you or your family served someone in need, just to show God’s love?
During the holiday season, we typically see a large number of people volunteering or donating to charity organizations. While those are good things; how impactful would we be if we served to show God’s love year round?
You might be surprised how serving others can cultivate a spirit of gratitude to the receiver and the giver!
Serving Is A Lifestyle
Jesus set the example as the ultimate servant, who lived to serve others. In our modern day society, we’ve adopted the “me” syndrome.
Everything has become about “me”, including: what I gave, what I did, or where I volunteered.
“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.” ~ Mark 10:45 (NLT)
We have to admit, we use to volunteer for events to teach our children a lesson to be grateful.
However, we soon found out, that making them serve at one or two events wasn’t going to teach them the lesson of serving. Rather, we needed to help them develop a lifestyle of seeking to be a blessing to others.
And the only way that can happen is if we lead by example, looking for opportunities to serve others as a lifestyle.
“Therefore, whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone—especially to those in the family of faith.” ~ Galatians 6:10 (NLT)
Finding Gratitude In Serving
One Thanksgiving we watched a movie, The Ultimate Gift, that left such an imprint on our hearts, it inspired us as a family to look for ways to give and serve others.
The movie outlined twelve gifts that we all have the ability to give which included; the gift of work, money, friends, learning, problems, family, laughter, dreams, giving, gratitude, the gift of a day, and the gift of love. (If you want to know more, we encourage you to watch the movie!)
Needless to say, this movie truly impacted us as a family. So much so, we challenged ourselves to purposefully look for ways to bless others through service.
Our son was the first to identify a young boy in his class, that was being raised by a single mother. He suggested we invite them over for dinner, so we did. As it turned out, the family was in desperate need of hope.
The love that was extended that night not only brought hope to the family, our children found gratitude for having a home, and food on the table.
Over the years, our children willingly participated in serving opportunities, and have come to us with people they felt we needed to bless.
You see, when we serve others, gratitude is found in the receiver and the giver.
Awareness of Gratitude
When we serve with the sole purpose of showing God’s love, we find an overwhelming awareness of gratitude. That awareness can only be tapped into when we serve without expecting a reward.
Our mentors once told us that the true heart of a giver is, giving to someone who doesn’t have the ability to pay you back. When we help meet a felt need that someone has, it sheds light on how good we have it. Even when we think our life is a hot mess.
One of the ways we have found to serve as a family is through Current Initiative with the Laundry Love Project. It gives us an opportunity to help families have clean clothes. No family should have to choose between providing a meal for their family or having clean clothes.
When we show up to provide laundry supplies and pay for the families laundry, families are overwhelmed with gratitude for our small act of kindness, which causes them to praise God.
As a result, our hearts are filled with joy to see them experience God in a tangible way. It reminds us to be grateful for our ability to have clean clothes that many of us take for granted.
In The End
Even in this season of walking through health challenges, we find strength when we serve others. It helps take our eyes off our present circumstance and allows us to blessing to someone in need.
In that moment all of sudden we don’t feel pain or tired. Somehow God gives us supernatural strength to serve others so they can find hope!
“Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God.” ~ 2 Corinthians 9:11 (NLT)
When we’re focused on our problems, we miss the opportunity to see the benefits in serving others. And although we recognize serving is not comfortable for some, it becomes easier when we purpose to make serving a lifestyle.
~ André and Timberley Gray