A Realistic Appraisal of Serving Others
by Charles R. Swindoll
We Americans like things to be logical and fair. We not only like that, we operate our lives on that basis. Logic and fairness are big guns in our society.
Meaning this: if I do what is right, good will come to me, and if I do what is wrong, bad things will happen to me. Right brings rewards, and wrong brings consequences. That's a very logical and fair axiom of life, but there's only one problem with it. It isn't always true. Life doesn't work out quite that well.
There isn't a person reading these words who hasn't had the tables turned. All of us have had the unhappy and unfortunate experience of doing what is right, yet we suffered for it. And we have also done what is wrong on a few occasions without being punished. The latter, we can handle rather easily . . . but the former is a tough pill to swallow.
I don't find it a nagging problem, for example, to drive 75 miles an hour on the highway and get away with it. Normally, I don't lie awake through the night feeling bad because an officer failed to give me a ticket—even though, in all fairness, I deserved one. But you let one of those guys ticket me when I have done nothing wrong, and I'm fit to be tied! And so are you. We hate being ripped off. Consequences belong to wrong actions. When they attach themselves to right actions, we struggle with resentment and anger.
I wish I could say that the only place such things happen is in our driving, but I cannot. They also happen in our serving in ministry.
Adapted from Improving Your Serve: The Art of Unselfish Living, Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. (Thomas Nelson Publishers). All rights reserved worldwide. Used by permission.
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