Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Self-Righteous Service vs. True Service: A Quiz

I am still moving right along in Foster's, "The Celebration of Discipline" and this morning I read a very eye-opening section on the heart behind our service.

Let's take a quiz together, shall we?

1 - When serving, does it...
A. take immense amounts of energy calculating and scheming how to render the service?
B. or, does the energy expended come from a relationship with the divine Other deep inside (the Holy Spirit)?

FINAL POINT: Do we serve out of whispered promptings and divine urgings or out of an intolerable scramble of panting feverishness?

2 - Is our service calculated by...
A. the impressive gains on ecclesiastical scoreboards?
B. or, obedience rather than the service itself, indiscriminately welcoming all opportunities to serve?

FINAL POINT: When we serve, are we drawn to the service out of false modesty or because we see the genuine importance of the service?

3 - When you serve...
A. do you require external rewards, needing to know that people see and appreciate the effort, seeking human applause (with proper religious modesty of course)?
B. or, can you rest contented in hiddenness? Not afraid of the attention but not seeking it.

FINAL POINT: Will a divine nod of approval be enough for you?

4 - When you serve...
A. are you waiting in anticipation to see the results, eager to see if the person served will reciprocate in kind?
B. or can you serve, free of the need to calculate results?

FINAL POINT: Do you become bitter when the results fall below expectations or can you serve enemies as freely as friends?

5 - Do we...
A. choose to serve the high and powerful because they will insure a certain advantage or the low and defenseless because that will insure a humble image?
B. or, do you follow Jesus example to be a "servant of all" (Mark 9:35)?

FINAL POINT: Do you pick and choose to whom you will serve?

6 - When you serve...
A. is it affected by moods and whims, serving only when there is a "feeling" to serve ("moved by the spirit" as we say)?
B. or, can you minister simply and faithfully because there is a need, knowing that the "feeling to serve" can often be a hinderance to true service.

FINAL POINT: Does ill health or inadequate sleep control your desire to serve or do you refuse to allow the feeling to control the service, but rather the service disciplines the feelings?

7 - Is your service...
A. temporary, functioning only while the specific acts of service are being performed?
B. or, is it a life-style?

FINAL POINT: Are your acts of service ingrained patterns of living, springing spontaneously to meet human need?

8 - When you act in service...
A. do you insist on meeting the need even when to do so would be destructive, demanding the opportunity to help?
B. or, are you willing to withhold the service as freely as perform it, listening with tenderness and patience before acting.

FINAL POINT: Are you sensitive, willing to serve through the act of silence?

9 - Does your service...
A. fracture community, centering in the glorification of the individual, which in turn puts others into our debt, becoming one of the most subtle and destructive forms of manipulation known?
B. or, does it build community, quietly unpretentiously going about caring for the needs of others, putting no one under obligation to return the service?

FINAL POINT: Does your service rupture community or draw, bind, heal and build, resulting in unity of community?

Ouch! So, how did you do?

It's pretty revealing if you let it expose your heart and sink in.
Post a Comment