Over the last several years, Churches have been focusing on community service. The goal has been to shine the light of Jesus into the local neighborhoods that surround the Church. There is additional hope that it will open doors for people to attend Church and hear the gospel message.
There are several reasons people have gotten into this type of serving, most of which are positive. However, occasionally its popularity is produced by something negative. Some people like to serve outside of their local Church because the people are always an arm’s length away. And people at a distance are always easier to love.
Within the Church community, there are often those few people we do not get along with, or we disapprove of their life choices. We don’t talk to them and always move in different circles. We sit on the other side of the auditorium and generally avoid conversation. Whenever the situation arises, we will fake smile and try to be nice, but we definitely would not go out of our way to serve them.
In Luke chapter 6, Jesus says, “If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners do that.” (Luke 6:32-33 – NIV 2011)
Being kind to people who you like is easy. I would say that serving people you do not know is easy too. Even non-Christian sinners can do that. But loving, serving, and being kind to that person in the Church who annoys or aggravates you is tough.
One measure of our spiritual maturity is serving others. A second level is our willingness to serve that one Christian we don’t like. Believers do good to others, no matter how we feel about them.