If you’ve surrendered to following Jesus and understand He made a sacrifice for us — He laid down His life for us — then the act of surrender has been modeled for you. Now you have the opportunity to daily model this to others by serving them as Christ served you.
You never know what that act of service might be. Some days it might just be smiling at somebody who needs it. Some days it might be listening or giving of your time and resources to another person. In Mark 10:45, Jesus says, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.” When you think about being a ransom, there’s an exchange that needs to happen there. Being a ransom for someone is saying, ‘Whatever it takes for you to have peace and salvation through God, that’s what I will do.’ When Jesus came, it was so that we would know the Father. So too, if we are going to serve others, we need to make ourselves willing to do whatever it takes to help them know God.
You never know where a person is in their journey of faith. The one thing you do for them might be just the thing they need in order to figure out who Jesus is. The heart of serving is having a desire so strong for someone else’s salvation that you are willing to give up your own time and resources to help them get to a point of surrender. If you’ve truly surrendered to Christ, serving becomes a way of life.
There’s nothing that reinforces the idea of service greater than being on a team. The minute you slap on that jersey, it’s no longer about you. It’s about that jersey. Similarly, when you decide to follow Jesus, it’s no longer about you. It’s about doing what’s best to point people to God.
On my team, my goal is always to serve my teammates to the best of my ability in whatever role I’m in. I want to be the best player I can be to help the guys around me because we’re all under the same logo. I believe as followers of Christ, we’re all under the same banner. Serving people should be something we’re excited about, just like being on a team is something to get pumped up about. You’re coming together for one goal — one purpose that’s much greater than yourself.
It’s easy to come up with great excuses for why not to serve others. I can come up with reasons for why not to serve my wife, why I shouldn’t spend time with my kids, or why I shouldn’t help out a teammate at work. In your mind, you can begin making them into something they’re not in order to support your own reasons for not serving. This is really toxic; it’s the easiest way to derail you from serving. And it stems back to our selfish desire to have things our way.
Christ showed us that we need to humble ourselves to become a servant. Serving is counterintuitive to us, so the only way for us to really become servants is to do so by faith. Our eyes deceive us, and since we tend to trust what we see every day, it’s easy to be led astray. But when you focus on Christ and choose to serve others despite what your desires are, you are acting in faith that God will take care of you and your own needs.
Whenever you extend yourself faithfully, even when it doesn’t make sense, those are the times when you gather the deepest sense of joy. By helping someone else, you’ve had an opportunity to surrender your own desires and deepen your own faith in the One who gives you strength.
— Josh McCown, New York Jets quarterback
The Increase, part of the Sports Spectrum Network, is a community of Christian pro athletes sharing their personal stories of the decrease of self and the increase of Christ (John 3:30). Visit TheIncrease.com for more stories and videos.