When you see a need what do you do? I’m talking about the little things like helping a person at the grocery store, or responding to a hurt that someone just told you about themselves. Or perhaps just leaning over and picking up some trash.
Sometimes serving comes naturally and at other times occasions arise that call us out to serve. Often the former informs the latter. In Acts 6 the early church was growing and the needs were many. As a part of their DNA, the church cared for the widows in the community. These ladies had very little means of support and in that day and time would be on the brink of starvation. That is still true today in many cases!
Stephen along with six others were chosen to meet the needs of these ladies. It was a daily undertaking evidently which provided great contact and interaction. Certainly the blessing went both ways.
How can we develop an attitude of serving?
- Recognize that serving is an act of worship. When worshiping, we may “lift our hands” upward toward God. In the same manner we should “extend out hands” out to others in service. This pleases God who instructs us to care for one another.
- Small acts of service are just as important as large acts. What I mean is that little things can make a difference. A kind word, a simple gesture or an unseen act goes a long way in serving others.
- We must work together. In this passage in Acts 6 we find the entire body having a common goal. However, not all could be involved. The ones that could represent the body did just that. There was an organized plan and common support.
- Serving starts with character and grows us even more! Wisdom, Spirit-filled, and grace were all attributes of Stephen and his fellow servants. It was evident to the church as they unleashed these men to meet the needs.
- Serving can get messy! Conflict, selfishness, time restraints, lack of resources, and even persecution from others can erupt when we serve. Serving others is not always clean cut, but often complicated. Don’t give up. Keep serving.
Lord, awaken our eyes to see the need. Give hearing to our ears to understand. Quicken our minds to figure out solutions. Help us stretch out our hands to those in need and open our hearts to others and to You.