A. Love (What is our first motive? Love)
“… I understood that the Church had a heart and that this heart was burning with Love. I understood it was Love alone that made the Church’s members act, that if Love ever became extinct, Apostles would not preach the Gospel…” (St. Therese of Lisieux, Story of a Soul, 194)
Love desires the greatest good for the beloved, and the best we can offer anyone is a relationship with God in Christ. He is the jewel that is worth selling everything we have to obtain.
B. Servanthood (Love Serves – Developing the Heart of a Servant)
“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, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even death on a cross.” (Phil 2:5-8)
We must all be willing serve.
1) A servant asks himself, “What do others need?”
Example: Walking into a Room - When we walk into a room full of people, what goes through our minds? “Where’s the food?” Normally, we look for our friends, or someone we know, and go over to talk to them. Now, imagine a servant entering the same room. What would he be asking himself? “How can I serve the people in this room? Who needs my help the most? And how can I help them?” Instead of looking for your friends, you may look for the person no one is talking to. That’s where Christ is in that room, waiting for you. “Whatever you do to the least of my brothers you do to Me.” (Matt 25:40) See the difference this can make?
2) A servant adapts to the needs of others.
“I have made myself a slave to all, so as to win over as many as possible… I have become all things to all men, to save at least some.” (1 Cor. 9:18-22)
- Adapt to a culture/subculture - learning the language, customs and history of a people
- Recognize the dignity of the person created in the image of God. Don’t look at people as projects or something to be conquered.
- Listen, even at length, so that we can discover and respond to their deepest issues. Don’t approach people with a preset agenda, “I have to get my witness in…”
- Take an authentic interest in others and what is important to them. Don’t just give them a “canned” message and ignore their problems or concerns.
- See the potential in each person as God sees them. Don’t write people off based on limited perceptions.