Giving when you feel like keeping
Praying for others when you need prayer
Feeding others when your soul is hungry
Hurting with others when your own hurt can't be spoken
Keeping your word when it is not convenient
Being faithful when your soul wants to run away
I suspect that each of us have found ourselves from time to time wishing to be on the receiving end of ministry instead of on the giving side. Our natural human tendency is to focus on those things that we desire and which we believe will bring joy and satisfaction to our lives. While that is our natural inclination, it is rarely the most Christ-like approach to living. Each of the contrasts spelled out in the description of ministry above depicts something God calls us to do despite what our own selfish hearts are whispering is most convenient for us.
Paul reminds us of Jesus’ words that it is more blessed to give than to receive (Acts 20:35). Our Lord was the supreme example of unselfishness as He emptied Himself of His divine privileges and status to become a man. He taught His disciples that the one who would be greatest in the Kingdom of God must be the servant of all, and He offered Himself as the best illustration of that principle, telling us that “even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Mk. 10:45). May His example inspire and encourage us to faithfully minister to those He brings into our lives who need to know His touch through our hands, and to hear His voice through our mouths.