Spam Messages Are Not All Spam. So Be Careful.

Someone has spammed me this. Even so, I took time to read it and got guilt-struck. And I hope, after reading this people, you'll be able to reflect on what the message says.

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Are you a pleaser or a servant?

Jesus said, "And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve. . . " Mark 10:44-45a (NKJ)

Serving others is a biblical command that comes with a promise that if we humble ourselves in service to others that we will be seen as "first" in the eyes of God. Who of us doesn't want to receive God's approval and enjoy the rewards of His favor? But many of us who are naturally inclined to serve can slip into a pattern of doing it out of fear of rejection or desperate need for human approval.

How can we tell the difference? How do you know if you're serving for the right reasons? Here are some clues:

PLEASERS. . . measure their worth and identity by the response they get from others for what they do. They tell themselves, "If I'm a good person people will approve of me."

SERVANTS. . . recognize that God values them so much that He created them with unique gifts and abilities that can be used to help meet the needs of others.

PLEASERS. . . often neglect their own physical, emotional and spiritual needs. They often feel guilty if they take time to relax, do something just for fun, or buy something for themselves.

SERVANTS. . . recognize that they, too, must have adequate rest, nourishment, and encouragement in order to be strong enough to contribute to others.

PLEASERS. . . are often motivated by guilt. They say yes to many requests in order to make up for some sin or failure (real or imagined) they haven't forgiven themselves for. Sometimes they feel guilty just because they believe they are inadequate or inferior to others in some way.

SERVANTS. . . are motivated by love. This could be love for the person or cause that they are serving or simply love for the Lord. Out of gratitude for God's love and forgiveness, they allow Him to love others through them.

PLEASERS. . . act out of need for recognition and attention. They want to be perceived as selfless, but, truth be told, they like impressing people with how busy and indispensable they are.

SERVANTS. . . act out of a desire to please God. They see their efforts as a response to the Lord's command to serve others. Their goal is to hear Him say, "Well done, good and faithful servant!" They can be content behind the scenes because they know God sees it all.

PLEASERS. . . often give mixed messages. They say yes to requests and take on more responsibilities, but often complain that they have too much to do.

SERVANTS. . . say yes only when they are able to sacrifice their time or resources willingly and cheerfully, and say no when they are at their reasonable limit of obligations.

PLEASERS. . . often struggle with feelings of anger and resentment because people don't appreciate how much they sacrifice to meet the needs of others. They receive an unhealthy satisfaction from being a "martyr."

SERVANTS. . . are able to serve for the joy of serving and aren't as dependent on the appreciation of others to determine their feelings and attitudes about their service.

PLEASERS. . . feel that they can, or must, do it all alone. This is partly because "if you want something done right, you do it yourself" and partly because they're reluctant to "impose" on anyone else to help.

SERVANTS. . . recognize that others may actually enjoy helping and can accept that others have abilities that will contribute to accomplishing a goal - even if they don't do it the same way.

PLEASERS. . . have low self-esteem and are often threatened by others who might be able to perform as well or better than they can. They may criticize how others do things in order to make themselves appear more competent.

SERVANTS. . . have high "others-esteem." They appreciate the gifts and abilities God has given to others and delight in how the variety of gifts in a team of servants works together for a greater result.

PLEASERS. . . feel overly responsible for the outcome of their efforts. They tend to try to control or manipulate the way people respond to their "help" and become frustrated when people don't cooperate. The resulting sense of personal failure contributes to their feelings of low self-esteem, guilt, and resentment.

SERVANTS. . . do what they can and leave the rest to God. They understand that God is in control of the timing and circumstances of achieving a goal, whether it's changing a life or organizing an event. They "let go and let God."

So, are you a Pleaser or a Servant? It comes down to two things: attitude and motivation. The Scriptures give us some guidance on how we should approach our opportunities for service:

This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends.John 15:12-13 (NKJ)

Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another; not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Romans 12:10-11 (NKJ)

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Make sense? Now, which are you? Do you know your real self now?

Contemplate...


3 comments:

lucas @ April 8, 2009 at 5:15 PM

thanks, leoj for this one :)

very enlightening and in tune for the holy season.

[PLEASERS-have low self-esteem and are often threatened by others who might be able to perform as well or better than they can. They may criticize how others do things in order to make themselves appear more competent.]

i suffered from this back in HS...and i've mistaken it for being competitive.

Leoj @ April 9, 2009 at 12:30 AM

welcome.

Buti ka pa dun ka lang guilty. ako marami eh. haha.

oh well, papel. at least ngayon alam ko na, alam na natin. :)

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