The Heart of Serving

On Monday nights I serve at the community center by cleaning the bathrooms. It’s not a thrilling task or even something that I enjoy doing. I mean I wouldn’t call home to excitedly tell my parents how many hairs I picked out of the showers in the locker room this week (needless to say it is a surprising amount sometimes). The entire process of cleaning the sinks, toilets, urinals, floors, and taking out the trash is hot, sometimes smelly, and sometimes disgusting. I don’t know how many times I’ve cleaned a toilet just to see someone come in and use it while I clean the other one.

The lack of attention really makes my service harder. I don’t understand how people can use the bathrooms at the community center and not see someone else’s hard work, but instead a mess is left for me to clean up. The entire task of cleaning the bathrooms even seems futile sometimes. I’ll clean a toilet and lo and behold 10 minutes later it’s dirty again.

Do you know how difficult it is to want to go back again in a week to serve in a way that has little to absolutely no appreciation? What is wrong with people?

Or a better question is what is wrong with me. Only I could turn a wonderful thing like serving my church into a disgusting sin-filled and unfitting offering to God. No better time is my heart truly revealed then when I don’t get what I want, even if those desires aren’t entirely bad.

How about you? Is this how you think during the times you serve, with a focus on what you’re getting out of it instead of what you’re giving? Maybe it shows whom we’re really serving.

The hardest times for us to serve are when we are focused on our own goals and what is getting between the two. Serving at the community center should be a time for me to focus on how I can better represent Christ by donating my time and abilities to help others, but due to my selfish ambitions in serving it turns into a time for me to feel better about myself. Which then turns into being fed up when people don’t use the bathrooms the way I want them to be used. How stupid is that? Next time Joe uses the bathroom he better have Matt in mind. Yea that’s definitely what I wanted.

Your heart, not your actions, is what counts when serving. You can do everything right and still be wrong in your reasons. Stop for one second and think about why you are doing what you’re doing. Do nothing out of selfish ambition, or vain conceit (Phil 4:3). Focus your heart on being humble and reflect the perfect example we have in Christ.


Luke 22: 26-27: But not so with you. Rather, let the greatest among you become as the youngest, and the leader as one who serves. For who is the greater, one who reclines at table or one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at table? But I am among you as the one who serves.


Philippians 4:3-7: Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant

Matt Hull