Posted by: Mike Willoughby | April 19, 2011

Relationship Matters (Attitude of Service)

One of my favorite passages in the Bible dealing with practical relationship matters is Titus 3:1-8.  This passage is part of the pastoral instructions the Apostle Paul is passing on to the young evangelist, Titus.  Titus is supposed to remind the various congregations in Crete of these basic instructions as he ministers to the churches in Crete.  The advice contained in this passage is just as relevant to us in the 21st Century as it was to the Cretan believers in the 1st Century.

Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.  For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, led astray, slaves to various passions and pleasures, passing our days in malice and envy, hated by others and hating one another.  But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of works done by us in righteousness, but according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us richly through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that being justified by his grace we might become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.  The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

I touched on the respect for authorities last week and so I will pass over the rich topic of respect and submission to authority and general obedience for now.  The first personal relationship matter we run across in this passage has to do with having an attitude of service.  Paul writes to us “to be ready for every good work.”  This speaks to having an attitude of service to others.

Dr. Gary Chapman has written a landmark book on relationships titled, The Five Love Languages in which he describes five different primary ways in which people express love for one another.  These five love languages are:

  • Words of Affirmation
  • Quality Time
  • Receiving Gifts
  • Acts of Service
  • Physical Touch

For those who express and receive love through acts of service, good works are a direct path to the heart.  All of us appreciate a good act of service, but these folks place a premium on doing good works and receiving the benefits of service performed for them.  I will write more about the actual acts of service at the end of the series, but the starting point for expressing this relationship love language is all about attitude.  Simply being ready for good works opens me up to the many opportunities for service that naturally come along.  If I am not mentally ready and in physical position to do good works, many opportunities will pass me by.  Only those opportunities that slap me upside the head will actually get my attention.

How to develop and attitude of service?  Start by committing to a daily quota and take a tally of success at the end of each day.  Acts of service don’t have to be heroic – small works count too.  Simply making a commitment to engage in good works and keeping track of my success will naturally align my attitude and increase the effectiveness of my “service radar.”

This week I commit to do my best to “be ready for every good work.”  I wonder how this simple change in attitude will revolutionize my relationships.

Until next week,

Meet me at the intersection!

Previous Intersections Articles

Relationship Matters Hope is a Strategy! (Part 3) Hope is a Strategy! (Part 2)

Copyright © 2011 Michael Willoughby. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to author and/or owner with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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