A Servant's Heart
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy. Proverbs 31:8 (NIV)
One of my favorite bumper stickers is one that we have all probably seen at least once - love God, love people. To serve God is to serve others, and we are surrounded by the poor and needy. The homeless on the streets of metro Atlanta may have nowhere to turn because of past mistakes, mental illness, or a life riddled with circumstances beyond their control.
The poor and needy need for us to help them. This doesn't mean that we do for them what they can do for themselves. Helping the needy means we let them know we care. All of us can have a ministry of presence in others' lives. Sometimes just being present is a ministry in and of itself; our presence lets others know how much we care.
While serving others is the greatest form of charity, the key is to know and understand our own capabilities and limitations and then to pace ourselves, allocating and prioritizing our time, our attention, and our resources to wisely help others. Sometimes knowing when to focus on ourselves actually allows us to be of more help to others.
One of the simplest ways to serve God and others is by befriending one another. God's children of all ages need our love, and we can give it! If we are to "come into the fold of God, and to be called his people," we must be "willing to bear one another's burdens, that they may be light." One of the easiest ways to do this is to visit and listen to those who are suffering.
Each of us has been given talents from the Lord that we should develop and use to serve God and others. I invite you to examine your life and see what talents you have. How could you use your talents to help those in need? Sometimes all it takes to serve God is to offer a smile, hug, prayer, or a friendly phone call to someone in need. Have you hugged a friend today?
Prayer for Today
Lord, help us to love each other as you have first loved us, we pray. Bless us with the needed strength, guidance, patience, charity, and love to serve your children. Amen.