A Realistic Appraisal of Serving Others

1 Peter 2:20-24; 3:17-18

We 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.

Taken from Improving Your Serve by Charles R. Swindoll. Copyright © 1981 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson. www.thomasnelson.com

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Accuracy, clarity, and practicality all describe the Bible-teaching ministry of Charles R. Swindoll. Chuck is the chairman of the board at Insight for Living and the chancellor of Dallas Theological Seminary. Chuck also serves as the senior pastor of Stonebriar Community Church in Frisco, Texas, where he is able to do what he loves most—teach the Bible to willing hearts. His focus on practical Bible application has been heard on the Insight for Living radio broadcast since 1979.