Keeping yourself quiet is hard in any context, but when it comes to keeping quiet about a good deed that you have done it is even harder. Over these past two weeks, I have realized the importance of keeping your mouth shut when serving. I have realized the glory and honor that this brings to God, and the humility that it brings to myself. Being quiet is hard. Serving others with a good attitude is hard. Putting the two together became very difficult for me, but it was a wonderful learning experience as well.
I learned that service in secret really is a spiritual discipline. It requires close communication with God, and an understanding that Jesus wants us to be able to serve him. He is a jealous God. Not jealous of us, but rather very jealous FOR us. He wants all of our attention, and won’t take “no” for an answer. But when we serve with our mouths open, we are bringing all of the glory of the act to ourselves, it is attracting our attention, and in return, we are obtaining the attention of others. This is not the will of the Lord.
I practiced service though serving my hall. As a Resident Assistant on campus this year, I am expected to be there for my residents, and to give of myself and “bend over backwards” to help them. For the past two weeks, I did this in a new way—a way that I had not thought to do before. I encouraged, supported, and loved on the girls on my hall without ever stating that I was the one doing it. I sent them notes in the mail, left them candy at their doors to bring happiness, and then would just naturally encourage them with notes on their door’s whiteboards without ever saying a word out loud about it. And while, yes—I am a student leader on the hall, and the acts of service that I did could have more than likely been traced right back to me, I am sure that the act of serving in silence is more about not drawing attention to yourself, rather than making sure that no one knows who served them.
I learned that I really do thrive on the love language of “Words of Affirmation” because not being told “thank you” or being encouraged right back was hard for me. It really began to teach me humility and love for others. There are going to be plenty of times in life that I am going to be able to bless someone, but they will not be able to return the favor. Instead of getting upset about that, it excited me that I am instead learning for to be grateful that I am blessed to be a blessing and that I can serve and love on them just the seam, no matter how they will feel led (or not led) to serve me back.
This two week long project was nothing short of a big lesson for me in the act of service and in the act of learning who God is, and what he wants for his followers. He is ever- present, and he is all- knowing. This is a great thing. It shows his followers that he truly does love and care for them, and that he is going to help us walk through each step in life that we are called and pushed to endure. I feel as though I am able now to understand more why he wants our love and our service, and is a jealous God FOR us, but not OF. I realized through this project that he is not looking for our service because he needs us to do it, but rather, he wants us to learn how to serve and how to serve well.