Set Sail for Serving
Posted April 28, 2008
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Romans 15:1
When we hear about Christian stewardship, we usually hear mainly about the use of our money, time, and talents. I'd like to focus on the idea of just being a steward, like on a ship. What do they do? Basically they are there to serve others.
Isn't that so important in the Christian life? It seems like the money, time, and talents just fall into place when we are busy serving others.
I went and checked online at some of the various cruise lines to see what their qualifications were for hiring stewards. Here are some things I found that were the same across the board. If you'll notice, they are traits that as Christians we should have as well.
1 Must be friendly and get along with people.
That's a good place to start when you are working on improving your Christian life. Just being friendly. How are we ever going to share Christ if we are not friendly to those people that God has placed in our path?
Friendliness can start with just simple things. Maybe just sharing a smile or going out of your way to say hello, and it can lead on up to other things. Isn't that the example Christ left for us when He washed the dirt from off the disciples' feet in John 13?
You'll notice the requirement is not just being friendly but getting along with people. As Christians that shouldn't be too hard for us but sometimes it is. It's not just the idea of getting along with people of the world that we come in contact with but we have to get along with other Christians as well.
If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies,
Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.
Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.
Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus.
2 Must be in contact with people all the time.
Oh no! We can't go hide from people if we are going to do the job of a steward. Isn't that what the Great Commission is all about? Reaching people?
We have to be in contact with people in order to share our faith and reach them for Christ. We can't keep the wonderful news of Christ to ourselves. It was meant to share.
And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. Mark 16:15
3 Must be able to take criticism.
If as stewards we are going to be dealing with a lot of people, criticism is just naturally going to come along in some form or another. In order to serve others as a steward should, we are sometimes going to have to bite our tongues and remember Who we are ultimately serving.
I'm not talking about letting people run over us as but there are ways that we should conduct ourselves as Christians. We do this in the way we talk, react, and behave when it comes to dealing with people. A great verse that comes to mind is Proverbs 15:1
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger.
If we are going to be stewards for Christ, a big part of our job description is getting our tongues and actions under control.
4 Must be able to work long hours.
Being a Christian steward isn't always going to be easy. There are going to be times when we are called upon to serve someone else when it may not be convenient for us. Someone may need you to give them a ride to church or the grocery store. It may be your turn in the church nursery. Someone may be sick and you may be the next on the list to bring the chicken soup.
We may not always feel like serving but we must keep on going. We are serving Christ by serving others.
And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. Galatians 6:9,10
5 Must be able to serve the wants and needs of others.
We have become a "me" society so when it comes to serving the needs of others it may seem a little foreign to us. It shouldn't be though.
As Christians, it should be a natural part of us to want to serve others. It's the whole crux of what Christ taught us to be. He didn't even live to please Himself.
We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself... Romans 15:1-3
A steward that works on a ship knows that the things left in his charge are not his but he takes care of those things just as though they belong to him.
Christ gives us our time, wealth, and health and what we do with those things is important because we don't own them. They are given to us to use here on this earth. A big part of how we use those things is in regard to serving others.
Serving others can be rewarding in so many ways. It may not always be easy but it is part of the lifestyle we should embrace as Christians. We have to keep in mind our eternal rewards.
Remember what Christ taught us in Matthew 25? If we are serving others, it is how we ultimately serve Christ.
For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.
So, do you have the qualities of a good steward?
Copyright ©2008 Julia Bettencourt
Scripture References are from the King James Version.
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