If you have been a Christian for any length of time, you will have struggled with the whole issue of serving. Maybe you haven’t reflected on this but I am sure, like me, you have felt it. You have come back from church having served others in some way, maybe with morning tea, or singing, or preaching, and have just felt drained and tired. You have been happy to serve, that’s not the problem. But sometimes it would be nice for your hard work to have been noticed by someone. Or maybe you get disillusioned because it seems like so few do all the hard work all the time, and many people don’t seem to be doing very much. Or maybe you feel like you do so much for God, but He doesn’t seem to be answering your prayers as you would like.
If serving God just seems sometimes like hard work, or disappointing work, this new little book is well worth a read. It is called ‘Serving without sinking: how to serve Christ and keep your joy’ by John Hindley. The author is a pastor and church planter from the UK. The book itself is not expensive and is only about 120 pages long, and is well worth the investment of both money and time.
I have the privilege of reading many Christian books, and I found this particular book one of the most helpful and clear books I have read for a long time. John Hindley is someone who knows all the wrong ways that we often think about serving. He knows that our motivations for serving are so often mixed. We think wrongly about God – we think our serving will somehow get us credit with God, or show us to be good enough for Him, or that we can pay Him back for his grace through serving. And we think wrongly about others – we want to serve so others will notice us, or so that we belong. And we even think wrongly about ourselves – thinking that God needs us to do his work, or that we can serve God well without thinking or praying. I found time and again my own heart being exposed and my motives for serving being questioned, which was both painful and useful.
But the book does not stop there. It goes on to direct us to the wonderful God, our Father, who served us so completely. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus we are friends with the Boss, the bride of Christ, the sons of the Father. When we realize that we are to serve God because of love, not because of anything else, it frees us and motivates us rightly. It is refreshing to be reminded of the gospel and have it explained so helpfully.
I wholeheartedly recommend you read this book. It is well written and well-illustrated, and easy to read. It is gospel-centred. And it will help you think rightly about serving others, which will be good for you and for those you serve!