Without This, You Won't Have a Ministry

by James A. Scudder

The classic chapter on love,  1 Corinthians 13, shares the definition of what our attitude as Christians should be toward others. "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. Charity suffereth long, and is kind; charity envieth not; charity vaunteth not itself, is not puffed up."

Love, Paul said, is more important than spiritual gifts, or knowledge, or faith, or generosity, or even a willingness to die for Christ. And yet many times we lose sight of this as believers. We begin to think that our acts of service are more important than our attitude toward that service. Therefore if we do our service grudgingly or with a disgruntled spirit thinking that, "Isn't that person lucky that I am serving him?" or "I wish people would appreciate all that I do for them," we justify our attitude because we are serving.

If we don't have an attitude of selfless love toward others, we won't have a ministry. If we don't genuinely and with all our heart care for others, then there is no reason for us to continue. The bottom line is the Christian life takes courage and great sacrifice and this service manifests itself in hundreds of ways in the everyday moments of our existence.

It is easy to fall into a spirit of meanness toward our service. The human heart is deceitful and desperately wicked, after all, and we often don't even realize that we are thinking these negative thoughts. We don't understand that unless we continually do our service out of love, then our service isn't really service at all.

Paul tells us that love is patient, love has a long fuse, love is slow to boil, love counts down before it blasts off. Then he tells us that "love is kind."

Are you known as a kind person? Are you someone who will drop everything to help someone? Or are you always nursing a grudge against others?

I realize that you already understand that our world is not a kind world. How do you feel when you are in line at a crowded supermarket and everyone is making negative comments under their breath? How about when you are trying to travel the speed limit and you have someone behind you honking?

It is easy to adopt the "Me First" attitude of the world inadvertently. We have deadlines to meet and places to be and it is easy to fall into this rush, rush attitude where we don't ever have time for other people.

We shudder to think what would have happened had our Lord been selfish, yet many times we are too busy to stop and remember that people matter and if we don't have an attitude of selflessness toward them, we won't have a ministry. Take a moment right now and ask God to give you the strength to look at the people around you with new eyes. Ask Him for help in realizing that if we don't show genuine, Christ-like love to others, people won't be drawn to the Savior.

Our attitude of love for others will supercharge our ministry to them.<![if !supportEmptyParas]> <![endif]>

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