How Gratefulness Shapes Our Service
A Christian is someone who fundamentally should be a deeply thankful person. Some of the reasons for this can be seen in Colossians 3:12–17, which lists characteristics that we are to “put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved” (v. 12).
To be chosen by God, not because we are smarter or stronger or theologically more savvy than others but simply because God loves us, should both humble us and make us rejoice. In Christ, we are holy and we are God’s beloved children for all eternity. With that in mind, you and I as believers should be humble when we interact with other people. We are not better than they are; it is merely by God’s grace that we have received God’s forgiveness (v. 13) and God’s love. Therefore, we are to love and serve God first and then other people. Mark 10:45 says,“For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
A GRATEFUL HEART
Yet, when we interact more closely with people, it doesn’t take long to realize that people can be difficult and that they are sinful. The question, then, is, How do we respond? Do we withdraw from them, at least to a certain extent, and show them less love and less Christ-centered service?
The message of the gospel is exactly the opposite: because you and I are difficult and sinful, Jesus Christ came to save us from our sins and make us more and more like Him. As we grow in Christlikeness, we will less and less withdraw from people and we will less and less cut them off from our lives and service. In Colossians 3:14, God says, “Above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” A grateful heart shows itself in loving service to God and to other people. The more grateful we are for God’s grace and love in our lives, the more eager, committed, and determined we will be to love and to serve others—even when they are difficult and sinful.