During Thanksgiving, last year, my mother-in-law and I volunteered with her church to feed the homeless. Her parish planned a large Thanksgiving dinner and opened its doors to feed several families and individuals. During our volunteer window, we worked with several caring, joyful individuals, all of whom were happy to serve. Aside from the fact that everyone was busy with serving, cleaning and cooking, I was pleasantly surprised that no one used this volunteer mission as an opportunity to take photos for social media. At one point, the pastor snapped a photo of the volunteers to add to the parish’s scrapbook, but that was the long and short of anyone using a camera to share private moments from this holiday.
These days, it seems as though certain folks are quick to help others but equally as fast to record or document their acts of kindness.
Imagine if Christ was physically on Earth, and he used his smartphone to document the moments He granted us forgiveness and grace.
I have not experienced homelessness or hunger, and I share that with the utmost gratitude and humility. However, if I was in need of food, money or shelter, I can only imagine the range of feelings from having to ask strangers for help. Worse, I can hardly imagine receiving help but having a camera in my face to document the ordeal at the same time.
God did not put us on Earth merely to live for ourselves. Yes, He crafted a specific purpose for each of our lives, however, He also wants us to spend our lives helping others.
“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do” (Ephesians 2:10).
Imagine if Christ was physically on Earth, and he used his smartphone to document the moments He granted us forgiveness and grace. Of course, our Heavenly Father would never, for He is the utmost example of mercy and love, yet people near and far are documenting their good deeds for the world to see.
Remember—your reward is in heaven. God gives us countless opportunities to extend a helping hand to others, and whether or not we choose to help, God watches on to see if we will ignore, help or react in a self-absorbed way. You may think that your peers are interested in what you have in terms of possessions and wealth, and how you help others through your wealth, but God is far more interested in why you serve others. When you are not motivated by Christ to serve others, you will serve for the wrong reasons—trying to earn the approval or attention of others or, perhaps, remedying guilt.
“God is not unjust; he will not forget your work and the love you have shown him as you have helped his people and continue to help them” (Hebrews 6:10).
Serve out of love for Christ.
Serve out of gratitude for Jesus.
Serve from the heart.
And please, keep your phone tucked away. The one who matters most is always watching anyway.
“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love” (Galatians 5:13).