Samantha’s Note: Recently, I realized I could not blog a whole month on my own. Especially not this month which was full of side projects, events, freelance work and job searching. Because of this, I invited a few others to join me in talking about Finding Self to hear what they had to say about it. Neive (isn’t that the coolest name ever?) is a part of a blogging group I belong to and volunteered to write all about how serving others through her faith has helped in finding self. I should also mention that she has the cutest brood of dogs at home and lives in Australia! You might notice a thing or two spelled a little differently, so just go ahead and read it in an Australian accent to get the full experience.
My name is Neive and I blog over at “The Aussie Osborns”. I am so excited to be a part of Samantha’s series “Finding Self”, what a wonderful topic! There are so many different ways that we can find ourselves, but what better way to do it then by bringing light into someone’s life at the same time! Thank you so much Samantha for allowing me to be a guest on your blog, I am honoured.
Find yourself by serving others
Some of you may know the famous quote by Gandhi “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others”, which really rings true to my heart. There have been many times within my life where I have engaged in service and found myself. I’m not talking about some massive epiphany, but characteristics I maybe though I didn’t have or didn’t associate myself with.
That’s not to say that I always throw myself at these opportunities every moment of the day, life is so busy and complicated sometimes it’s hard to find the time to give service to others, but there is always a sense of satisfaction, accomplishment and emotional reward after – for everyone involved. Not to mention how the Lord knows us, he knows the true intention of our hearts and what will make us happy. I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first (Rev 2:19)
I’m not talking about full blown “make sure you go and clean the next door neighbour’s gutters” kind of service (although you are welcome to do that and I’m sure they will appreciate it). I’m talking about little simple acts things each day, some things that you probably already do. Without realising it we can help serve others in so many ways. Everybody can be great…because everybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” (Martin Luther King Jr.)
4 Simple Acts of Service
1. Be Kind.
Ever thought about service in a way as simple as being kind? “Kindness is powerful”, sometimes however it can be really hard to accomplish. But imagine knowing that something you said made someone’s day. You may not remember in 10 years to come, but I can guarantee they will. When we serve others, we serve the Lord; ….hearken diligently unto my commandments which I command you this day, to love the Lord your God, and to serve him with all your heart and with all your soul (Duet 11:13). Our Saviour Jesus Christ showed us the way by being an example of kindness to all those he came in contact with, the rich/poor, the beggars, the sick and those who may not have wanted to associate with him. Can we do the same?
2. Show Love
Sometimes that can be really hard when people around you might be hard to love (either within your family or extended relationships or just strangers you see at the shops). – look for the good in everyone. The second greatest commandment the Lord has given us is to “Love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matt 22:39) and I try to remember that every day. I try not to let what someone may have to offend me, when my husband wakes at 4:30am for work I get up to make him a coffee and lunch or even just smiling to those who pass me by. For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another (Gal 5:13). How do you show love to others?
3. Small helpful acts
Whether it is within your home or out and about look for ways to help others. It doesn’t have to be big. It can be as simple as grabbing a can of food off the top shelf for the old lady doing her shopping. My husband is a great example of this; he is the first one to stop if someone’s car is broken down or to help lift groceries into cars for old couples (I really love that man). One day a man dropped his walking sick as I was walking past he was having a hard time working out how to bend down to get it, so I ran over and picked it up for him. It was so lovely to see the happiness and gratitude on his face; you never know what good you can do for someone. We can give our burdens to the Lord “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” (Matt 11:28-30). So how can we lighten someone’s load?
4. Give your time
How much time is spent on social media these days? I know I am guilty of a little too much. Or time spent on our own worldly issues; cleaning the house, paying the bills, watching tv. I’m not saying these things aren’t important, because they are, but what if we could change one of those activities once a week or even once a month to serving someone else? Knock on that old man/women’s door down the road and ask if there is anything you can do. Cook a meal for someone who you know is unwell or babysit the single mother/father’s children while they have a few hours off (or even just to sleep!). I have an obsession with baking, so I often always make a double batch every time I whip something up and give some to those in need! I feel much better after and plus I don’t eat half as many! Do you have any spare time to give?
I know that for myself, as I have tried to develop each of these characteristics into my daily life I have felt so much joy and happiness, not just for myself but for those who I serve as well. I find myself loving others more, I see the good in people that I may have looked past. I have found I am more compassionate then I once thought, I have a lot more patience and it’s becoming easier to engage in conversations with those I don’t know.
But most of all, it has brought me closer to the Lord. When I walk in the footsteps of the Saviour’s example, I feel his love pour out upon me and I know I can do better each day. I am given the strength I need to continue to serve him. “…choose you this day whom ye will serve; …but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord (Josh 24:15)”.
I hope and pray to one day hear the Lord say to me “…Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord (Matt 25:21).