The greatest among you must be a servant (Matthew 23:11 NLT Ed. 1).
You should remember the words of the Lord Jesus: "It is more blessed to give than to receive" (Acts 20:35)
One of my mentors and heroes has taught for years that it is easier to act oneself into a better way of feeling than it is to feel your way into a better way of acting. I have to admit, in my grad school years — which were also filled with an idealistic naivete — these words sound more like a cliche or slogan than rock-solid fact. I’m older now, and hopefully a lot more experienced in the real world of change. Again and again, these words have proved themselves true.
We all get “stuck” at times. Folks who have the will power to step out of their current rut and do something differently also end up changing the way they feel — they act themselves into a better way of feeling. Simply sitting around trying to motivate oneself to feel better repeatedly comes up empty sooner or later.
While I do understand the theory of this truth, what strikes me most are the real life examples I have seen over the years. People who have lost so much or gone through so much can somehow find a way to rise above their current problems because they begin to act themselves into a better way of feeling.
One recent example speaks powerfully to me. A dear sweet lady who has gone through the wringer the last few years — her vital husband had a stroke, so they had to move to a different town, she became a full time care-giver to her husband, and then he died. Yet through it all, she has maintained a great spirit while genuinely grieving the loss of her husband.
She never quit serving others! Sure, she had some down days as she grieved for the loss of this man of God with whom she had shared so much life. On the other hand, she always found a way to serve and bless others while honoring God along the way. Her service was never offered to fix herself or make herself feel better. Instead, it was based on a deep desire to honor the Lord and serve others. Out of such a heart, great joy flows. That joy also frequently returns, blessing the heart that originally sent it out to be a blessing.
So what are you waiting to feel before you will bless others and the Lord by your acts of service? If you are waiting till you feel like serving others, you may be in for a long wait! However, if you will get started because serving others is a great thing to do to honor the Lord, then hang on, because the blessings are headed back your way, soon!
Act yourself into a better way of feeling. The Holy Spirit is ready to meet you at the place of service and will empower you to serve!
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