1. Sacrificially Serving
The followers of Jesus are called to sacrificially serve one another (1 Peter 4:10). The motive and the heart behind the acts of service/giving that we may do, is more than the act of service itself. It is possible to do acts of service with a self-serving or a selfish motive – for fame or to control others, or to gain a following, or to achieve positions of power, or expecting a future return, or to boast about how rich or how great they are, etc.
2. Serving for Show Off or Gain
Mark 10:45 says that Jesus came “not to be served, but to serve”. Jesus warns in Matthew 6:1-4: “Be careful not to practice your righteousness in front of others to be seen by them. If you do, you will have no reward from your Father in heaven. So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by others… when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you”.
2.1. When Service Is of Negative Value
An act of service that is self-serving is of negative value (“wolves in sheep’s clothing” – Matthew 7:15). Faithful service is one that is done with humility, with a heart of genuine loving relationship with God and people, and for the glory of God. 1 John 3:16 says, “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters”.
3. Serving With Purity of Heart Before God
As humans, all of us sometimes get tempted to seek self-serving interests even in acts of service. Let us use the opportunity to introspect the motive/heart behind our acts of service and to be honest before God. In Rev 3:8-11, God says, “I know your deeds…”