If you haven’t done so already, take a moment to read Part 1 of this post.
We’re continuing to talk about how we can serve God in every area of our lives, not just while worshipping on Sunday morning. Along with family and work, here are the other two areas—social and personal.
Serve Others in Your Social Life
When you’re out and about during the day—running errands, going to a doctor’s appointment, taking your teenager to their orthodontist appointment—how do you act? Are you pleasant toward others, or do you take out your frustrations of the day on the cashier at the grocery store?
Far too often, I’ve been rude or nonchalant to an innocent bystander. Maybe even snippy if I felt I was being slighted. But that’s not the way I need to act toward others. Everyone you meet is a child of God, created by Him at His pleasure.
1 John 4:20 tells us, “If anyone says, ‘I love God,’ and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen.” We cannot treat those around us with disdain and really, truly love God.
Although I’ve done just that many times, and maybe you have, too. I’ve prayed to God and asked for His help with a problem going on in my life, but then turned around and immediately said something awful about another person. I’m not sure I really want to know how God feels when He witnesses those kind of actions.
“How can I serve God, right here while standing in line at the bank, or giving the waitress my order, or sitting on these bleachers at my son’s Little League game?”
These are thoughts to keep in mind as we go about our daily routines. No matter where we go, there are countless opportunities to lift others up with a genuine smile, an encouraging word, or even by just showing them your own bright outlook on life. Even giving another driver room to change lanes or pull out displays a touch of grace.
Everyone has a struggle going on. We know our own, but we don’t usually know others’. Most people hide their true feelings to appear strong and put together. I’ve spent most of my life doing that. To avoid appearing weak, I’ve rarely let others in on my personal struggles.
But this is the very reason why it’s so important to serve God by reaching out to others. We don’t know what’s going on inside the people all around us. We can be Jesus, however, by showing them love and understanding.
As Bob Goff writes in Everybody, Always, after someone has hit rock bottom and bounced off the ground, we can catch them before they hit the ground a second time, helping them avoid even more disastrous results.
Serve God in Your Personal Life
God wants us to know Him better. Prayer and studying His Word are two ways we can do this. “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15).
We learn to handle the word of truth by reading it and studying it. Meditating on a small piece of God’s Word is a great way to let it sink into your spirit.
If I come across a verse or passage that really speaks to me, I’ll try to memorize it. Over the next day or few days I’ll work on getting to the point where I can recall the words freely and easily. As I do this, I may focus on key words or phrases and really try to listen to God’s voice in them.
“Right now while I’m sitting at this red light, or while I’m washing my hands, or waiting for the elevator—how does the verse relate to me?”
And while you’re shopping, or cooking, or even driving, you can talk to God right then and there. Prayer doesn’t have to be planned and formal—although any kind of prayer is a step in the right direction.
God just wants to connect with us. He longs for a relationship with us, His creation. Just like any father does, He wants His children to seek Him and desire to be with Him.
Prayer and meditation enable us to connect with Him. It is a privilege He allows us as followers of Jesus, “in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through our faith in him” (Eph. 3:12). Seek God. Reach out to Him on a regular basis. Get to know Him and let Him know you.
And strive to serve Him in every area of your life, at each moment, every day.