Recently I’ve been thinking about my service to Jesus and the passion variable behind it that drives me to push for excellence. It’s a beautiful concept I like to call “The Exchange”.
Jesus. The perfect gift to humanity. Sent in excellence to serve with excellence. This realization got me thinking, “Am I offering my best to God?” Then I realized, somewhere along the way I got carried away in my service and I was no longer serving with the core thought of Jesus in mind. Instead, my service became a routine. To the point where just like drivers who take the same route home-from-work everyday, eventually they say, “I don’t remember driving home” -now that’s scary… When service becomes a routine, people tend to miss the point of it all. The key is to focus on Jesus and His intentions not ours.
Sometimes our intentions revolve around trying to impress others, and if that’s your intention your passion variable isn’t going to last long. On the other hand, the intentions of Jesus have always been of honour and excellence towards us. Our heart posture is very important and this goes hand-in-hand with the quality of our gift. Let’s make an equation out of this. The right heart posture + your quality of service (or gift) = excellence.
Now, imagine being invited to a birthday party and you bring a $100+ gift and your intentions are for everyone to see how much you spent rather than actually honouring the person who is receiving the gift because you know how much they deserve it. The same idea applies when we are serving Jesus. Our service is like gifts we honour Him with, but it would really suck if our intentions were not to see how God reacts when receiving them but instead to see how others become impressed.
Note: the passion variable occurs when you’re serving and you think to yourself, “The Lord has been so good to me, I hope He likes what I’m offering today” or “I know He will take into account what I sacrificed in order to be here today and serve, but that doesn’t matter because He sacrificed it all for me” –that’s the thrill that should motivate us as we serve and not the thrill of impressing others.
Going back to excellence, excellence comes when there is a focal point rather than serving just to cover a function at church. I didn’t want my service to be mediocre because that’s not what God sent us. If anything, Jesus sacrificed it all -even His title. That being said, let’s be honest.
Sometimes as leaders at church, we forget about the function behind the title and only because we have received some kind of promotion we think it’s no longer our duty to serve. I am here to tell you that you’re wrong. Your service must increase in the measure that God begins to promote you in ministry. A title without a function is just simply a name tag written with a washable marker. Matthew 20.28 tells us that Jesus, being God, didn’t grab hold of his title but he came to serve us and not to be served. That means in order to offer someone everything; you must die to your pride, ego or reputation. It’s these things that stop us from giving God our excellence because what God wants we’re not letting go of, or we can’t let go of it because it still dominates us.
Remember Cain and Abel? Many of us are like Abel, with the right heart posture, willing to give God everything and then some. On the other hand, there are others like Cain, unable to let go of the things they love most, and can’t sacrifice them because they worked too hard to earn them. His gift was good but it wasn’t excellent. In my opinion, it all started with his heart posture (able to give but not with the right heart disposition). Excellence starts from the heart like I mentioned earlier. Until we realize that everything we have is because of Jesus and not of our labour, we won’t be able to offer God our service nor the disposition of our servanthood heart. Without these two, if we remember our equation, there is no excellence.
Let’s wrap our gift
Jesus gave His best, so we ought to offer our best in return. We all have plenty of talents and gifts galore to impress others but why aren’t we offering them to God in return? I encourage you to wrap your time, spiritual gifts and talents into a beautiful gift of service and offer it to Christ in return. Remember, when you offer your gift, focus on what Jesus did for you and come with the right heart posture as Christ did, letting go of your title and intentions and willing to sacrifice the things you’ve attached yourself with. Don’t worry about the type of gift: whether it’s singing, dancing, writing, painting, drawing, as long as it resonates excellence. That’s the exchange. When we come to understand and value what God offered us -His Son, His best, His excellence, we can offer the same in return.