The very concept of serving others is foreign to man. We are, by way of sin, greedy and self-centered. We fear rejection, and we seldom enjoy helping others when there is no gain for us. Because of this, even the smallest act of service–even as small as talking to a stranger– can seem like a huge challenge. It is only through God’s redemptive power that we are able to overcome this nature, and only then can we be taught to serve others.
Serving others is certainly an important aspect of our walk with God; both Testaments are filled with examples of how we are to serve others. My favorite example would have to be when Christ washed His disciples’ feet before the Passover meal. After washing their feet, He said, “If I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. I have given you an example that you should do just as I have done for you.”
It’s hard to have that level of humility, to be willing to serve others and put others ahead of ourselves. It goes against everything that is natural to us. But, when we let God take control and let His love shine through us, we are able to do so. Then we will feel no hindrance in talking to new people, doing mission work, or any other example of service. But we can only learn to serve once we learn to exhibit God’s love.