Why do you do what you do, or serve where you serve? I don’t know that we ask this question enough in our lives. There are people who are very willing to serve and will then serve in any available spot. They feel fulfilled, but their answer to this question doesn’t lead to anything very deep. They serve because there was a need. I know for those who serve in the ever-changing landscape of youth ministry, serving might have started with a real calling to it only to have that calling move to a prison sentence over the years. That is not a healthy place to be. In fact, it is not a Biblical place to be.
“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, not greedy or money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrust to you, but being examples to the flock.” – 1 Peter 5:2-3
Do you notice why this is such an important question? Because as a shepherd you are not entrusted to watch over your own sheep but God’s flock. This very concept gives me pause as I plan for events because I want to do the very best I can to be a shepherd to God’s flock. This is a place He has placed me and I know that I need to take that seriously.
I love the next part too because it is the exit out of a ministry that so many people need. The motive for serving is not our of obligation, but rather because you are willing. In other words, God calls and you respond to it. It is completely His work. I love this because so much of what is done in churches, or non-profits, revolves around volunteers. I know there are many people who never help at all, but I also know that there are many people who should serve in areas they might not be now simply because they see a need a want to fill it. It is a nice gesture, but if we all pay attention to our passions, gifts, and God’s calling in our lives, we can then respond to what He is asking us to do with the willingness God desires.
Notice also the motivation is not out of some sort of power or money grab of some sort. It is not about being upfront. It is about being an example to those who look to your leadership. They are watching and looking for some direction. Don’t waste it.
Let’s translate this into the workplace now. If you have a job, there is a reason why you have landed there. Is it because you needed money and it was the only job? Is it because you have a sense of joy, purpose, passion, or calling in what you do? There are times when we need to be in that first category for sure. If you need to supply for your family and there is only one job available at the moment, by all means take that. I have been there. But it would seem to me that there cannot be a sense of satisfaction in that until we find ourselves in a place where our gifts, passions and purpose is being utilized. That could be working on a line in a factory as easily as it could be some big executive. The point is not what you are doing but why you are doing it.
How about at home? Why do you live where you do? Why do you buy the things you do? Why do you have the friends you do? Is it because the place you are at now was the easiest place to end up? Again, I am not saying that anything you are doing is wrong. What I am saying is that we ought to actually think about why we spend time doing what we do. It matters. Our lives are not just a bunch of random events thrown together, but an opportunity to make a difference with the time and resources you have.
My oldest son came home with a book order form a month ago. He had taken the time to circle all of the books he wanted to buy and was happy to show it to us. I looked through it with him and saw the prices and told him that we did not need to buy those things from that book form. We could buy them from other places and save money in the process. I also told him that he did not have any gift money left to spent and that we were not buying him books at that time. He was not happy and told me that we were “wasting the book form.” I was not wasting anything. Could I have purchased a book for him? Sure. Was I really wasting the form? No. The reason is because I was not willing to spend the money there and I did not feel as though I must do that out of some obligation.
We don’t have throw-away dollars anymore than we have throw-away time.
What is your passion? How are you living it out? Do you agree with the phrase: The point is not what you are doing but why you are doing it?