It has been wisely said, “Service is the rent we pay for our own room on earth.” We should be carefully reminded that the rent is due on a daily basis, and because of that, we will never receive a receipt that is stamped “paid in full.”
Spencer W. Kimball, the 12th President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught:
It is by serving that we learn how to serve. When we are engaged in the service of our fellowman, not only do our deeds assist them, but we put our own problems in a fresher perspective. When we concern ourselves more with others, there is less time to be concerned with ourselves. In the midst of the miracle of serving, there is the promise of Jesus, that by loosing ourselves, we find ourselves. (Spencer W. Kimball; “Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, December 1974, p.2, 5).
Have you ever stopped to wonder what it is that truly motivates you to do the things that you do? Do you go about life seeking only those things which will gain you some type of personal recognition, or do you do the things you do, thinking not solely of yourself, but with the best interests of others at heart?
For example, I have been blessed with the talent and ability to be able to share my thoughts and feelings through the things that I write and share with others. But, sometimes I have to take a step back and ask myself if I am writing in hopes that someone will recognize my talents and abilities, or am I writing in hopes that someone will read what I have written and be blessed by what they have read. I pray that the latter will always be true. I pray that I will always live my life with the realization that it is not about me and what I may be able to do, but what I can do to be a blessing to others. Even with my writing I am in some small way rendering a service to others. Russell C. Taylor, a General Authority of The Church of Jesus Christ, taught, “Service opens windows in your life instead of just mirrors that always reflect yourself.” Therefore, I strive to live my life in such a manner that the things that I do are not just for me, but because of the love that I have in my heart for my brothers and sisters.
I personally believe that to a certain extent we all want to be recognized for the things that we do. However, sometimes we can get so caught up in ourselves that we fail to see anyone else but ourselves.
Even sometimes when we are preparing a message or a lesson for Church, we tend to feel that it has to be the greatest message ever delivered or the greatest lesson ever taught. Afterwards, if we are not careful, we can feel as though what we said or taught was ineffective, especially if no one comes to us and thanks us for our “great” efforts. If we find ourselves in this situation, we need to take a step back and ask ourselves, “Was the message that I delivered or the lesson that I taught for my glory or for His glory?” If we look at things in the proper perspective, of being in His service and bringing Him glory, our entire approach – from preparation, to delivery, to finish will be different. We will experience a certain peace unlike any other. A peace that “can come to both the giver and the receiver as we follow the promptings of the Spirit to serve one another.” (Barbara W. Winder; “Draw Near unto Me through Obedience,” Ensign, November 1985, p. 96).
Along those same lines we need to ask ourselves what audience we are intending to reach with our message. Do we expect that our message will reach the world, or do we focus on reaching the one who desperately hungers for the spiritual bread that we have that can satisfy that hunger? Our concern should not be for any type of self recognition, but our focus and concern should be for the love and edification of another – for the love of our brother. Even when we are delivering a message or teaching a class, we are rendering a service to our brothers and sisters.
President Spencer W. Kimball taught,
God does notice us, and he watches over us. But it is usually through another person that he meets our needs.” (Spencer W. Kimball; “Small Acts of Service,” Ensign, December 1974, p. 5).
And Elder Richard G. Scott taught,
|If you would be loved, love another. If you would be understood, show understanding to another. If you would find peace, harmony, and happiness, lift another (Richard G. Scott; “The Power to Make a Difference,” Ensign, November 1983, p. 71).|
In every area of our lives – in the home, on our jobs, at school, in the community in which we live, and in the Church that we attend – we have the opportunity to be of service to our brothers and sisters. Some of our acts of kindness and service may be great, some may be small. Some may be noticeable, and some may not be noticeable at all. In some cases the one receiving the service may be totally unaware as to who rendered the service, but as President Thomas S. Monson has taught, “Loving service anonymously given may be unknown to man – but the gift and the giver are known to God.” (Thomas S. Monson; “Anonymous,” Ensign, May 1983, p. 57.)
Perhaps Bryant S. Hinckley summarized it best when he said:
|Service is the virtue that has distinguished the great of all times and which they are remembered by. It places a mark of nobility upon its disciples. It is the dividing line which separates the two great groups of the world – those who help and those who hinder, those who lift and those who lean, those who contribute and those who only consume. How much better it is to give than to receive. Service in any form is comely and beautiful. To give encouragement, to impart sympathy, to show interest, to banish fear, to build self-confidence and awaken hope in the hearts of others, in short to love them and to show it, is to render the most precious service. (Quoted by Homer S. Ellsworth; “The Love That Never Ceases to Be,” New Era, June 1975, p. 14).|
As we journey through this life, it is my humble prayer that we may do so realizing that we are not the center of the universe and the sun does not rise nor set merely upon us. If in our lives we are able to help our brothers and sisters to lighten the heavy load that they may bear, in even the smallest of ways, then our living will not be in vain. Let us live our lives realizing and understanding that it is not all about “me.” The real blessings in life come when we forget about ourselves, and focus on doing things that will help lift another – when we do things for the love of our brother.