Remind people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready and willing to do good, to slander or abuse no one, to be kind and conciliatory and gentle, showing unqualified consideration and courtesy toward everyone.
The first job I had after dropping out of college was at a hotel working the front desk. An important part of this job was being kind and courteous to whoever needed my help. I can honestly say that I did not have the best attitude at the age of 19, so my performance was spotty. There were many days I walked into work not necessarily feeling in the mood to deal with other people’s problems or listen to complaints about things that I did not think were my fault. Some days were better than others, but the excitement I felt about serving people quickly fizzled in that position. It became something that I had to do and not something that I wanted to do. When it comes to our spiritual acts of service in the name of the Lord, we must make sure that this does not become only a responsibility and a chore. We must renew our excitement to serve.
The instruction we receive in today’s passage is that we are to be ready and willing to do good. This is to be a constant in our lives. When we first come to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ and join a community of believers, we might feel an excitement to serve and to give and to tell everyone we know about our Savior. However, that excitement might wear off over time. It is not that we forget the value of our godly service to others, but it may simply be that we grow tired or frustrated with the difficulties we encounter. Or perhaps we allow ourselves to become busy and get distracted by other things. Neither of these reflects the attitude that we are to have as servants. The hope is that we grow to enjoy serving others and keep ourselves ready and motivated to serve when needed. Our acts of service should not be something we must do but should be something we want to do.
If we need motivation to change responsibility to desire, we only need to look to Jesus Christ. He did not view coming to Earth and living as a man only to be sacrificed for our salvation as a chore. This was something that He desired to do. He said himself that He willingly laid down his life, and the reason He did this was because it pleased the Father. When our service becomes boring or challenging, and we are only going through the motions without really wanting to serve, we should think about how happy it makes our Father for us to fulfill the acts of service that He has ordained for us. We also should remember what Jesus did willingly to serve us here on Earth. Father, keep us ready and willing to do good for others as it gives You pleasure and as your Son has done for us.