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Serving With an Attitude

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Serving With an Attitude

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It is a privilege and a blessing to be able to serve in the Church of God. As human beings we don't always see it that way because serving is not typically convenient and may not even be fun. Not too long ago, while thinking about my approach to serving, I found I had somewhat of a bad attitude about it. I was serving, but I just wasn't always happy about serving. Over the course of time I occasionally meditated on this in general and thought about what my approach should be. I believe God revealed some things to me as I pondered His Word. There are a variety of physical things that need to be done in the Church of God. There are many things that need to be done each week to prepare for Sabbath services. In most congregations there's hall setup, a sound crew, a mother's room, a bulletin board; there may be a tape or MP3 library and in some congregations there may be regular coffee or snacks. And let's not forget that at the end of the day, all of it has to be taken down and put away. That can add up to a lot of folks doing the same thing week in and week out for the benefit of all. Fortunately our congregation is large enough so that most of these duties are rotated each month from one crew to another. So, I was really only serving every other month. Still, I recognized that I had a bit of a bad attitude about serving. That is until I reflected on a story in the Old Testament. Naaman Expected Something Great In 2 Kings 5 we find the story of Naaman, commander of the army of Syria. Although Naaman was an enemy of Israel, he is noted to be an honorable man who had actually been used by God. Verse 1 says, "by him the Lord had given victory to Syria." However, Naaman also had a pretty big problem. Naaman had leprosy, a terrible skin disease. As we read the story, we see that he was told that there was a prophet of God in Israel who could heal him. Of course it is only God who can heal, a lesson that Naaman would soon learn. The story also shows that Naaman had a bit of a bad attitude that he had to overcome. As the story progresses, this great Syrian general finds himself at the door of the house of Elisha, the man of God, seeking healing for his leprosy. Only Elisha doesn't even come out of the house. He just sends a messenger to say, "Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored to you, and you shall be clean." This is not at all what Naaman expected. He was furious. He wanted some kind of action, he wanted fireworks, perhaps a ceremony; he wanted Elisha to come out and wave his arms, call on God, something. This just seemed so trivial and menial. After all, he was a mighty general, the conqueror of great cities and nations. So he turned and went away in a rage. Thankfully for Naaman, he had a wise servant, who came to him and said, "My father, if the prophet had told you to do something great, would you not have done it? How much more then, when he says to you, 'Wash, and be clean'?" So Naaman calmed down and verse 14 tells us, "So he went down and dipped seven times in the Jordan, according to the saying of the man of God; and his flesh was restored like the flesh of a little child, and he was clean." The story shows Naaman then realized there is only one true God, stating he would forsake his previous idolatry and worship only the God of Israel. Thankful for the Privilege How does this relate to serving and to my less-than-stellar attitude? With this story in mind, I happened to think on a future time when I expect that God will call me to account, as we see in the parable of the talents. I saw myself saying, "I would have done something great, God—I was ready." And I heard the response, "I just wanted you to set up some chairs." It is a privilege to be a part of the most awesome work that is going on in the world. Physical things need to be done, some week in and week out, some less frequently. If we have the ability and the opportunity, we should be willing and thankful to do them. What may seem simple to us may be something very important we can do to contribute to the work of God. UN