I think it’s very important to serve.
My “No Man” tattoo is a symbol. It’s my way of saying, “This is the best way I know to love my neighbor as myself.”
There are all kinds of tattoos that do the same thing. Everywhere, you see tattoos that symbolize something somebody read in the Bible, or in another spiritual book. It all boils down to one thing. Service.
It all boils down to living for other people. That’s what Jesus did, and that’s what He has called us to do.
If I had to tie up the gospel of grace into one simple statement, it would be, “don’t live for yourself.” The gospel is all about living for other people. It’s about being a servant to those around you.
It’s about being encouraging! The gospel talks about the fruit of the Spirit, which is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Every one of those fruits grows from not living for yourself.
And it’s not easy. To live with patience is very hard to do. But the gospel encourages us. The gospel sustains us. Take a close look at the times you’ve lost patience with people. It’s because you were being selfish, right?
Maybe sometimes we find it hard to serve people because we don’t have goodness, or we’re not feeling particularly thankful, or we don’t have self-control, or we don’t have joy.
But why don’t we have those things? I think if we really examine ourselves and our lives, we’ll realize that it’s because we’re living for ourselves. The more we live out of selfishness, the less joy we have. When we live for ourselves instead of the people around us, we are less thankful. We have less to be thankful for! We’re less loving. We’re more controlling.
When we live for ourselves instead of the people around us, the things of the flesh tend to creep up on us. Impatience, ingratitude, selfishness, lack of self-control, a need to control others, etc., are all the opposite of the spirit. Flesh is selfish and self-centered, while our spirit is very servant-oriented. Our spirit is good. It’s made in God’s very own image! Our spirit is about giving back. Our spirit is about trying to figure out what other people need.
We can’t do this without putting aside some time to understand our own needs. Your needs should be met. You are a human being, after all!
But I think it’s very important to serve others first. Then, hopefully, the people you serve will serve you back.
Think about that. By serving others, you create relationships of service. The people you serve are meeting your needs, and you’re meeting theirs. You know what that is? That’s living life!
Have I tempted you to get “No Man Shall Live For Himself” tattooed on your forearm? I wouldn’t mind! Hopefully you’ll do it because you’re joining the movement. Tattoo or not, I hope you’re thinking about joining the movement.
See you Tuesday.