I’m not proud to admit that my inspiration for this post derived from being mildly irritated at my Facebook news feed…
I’m a millennial right? Born after 1982? I’ll slap that label on myself.
If you have a Facebook I’m sure your news feed has been flooded with the same type of material as mine. As I am sifting daily (by my own choice) through the waves of self recognition, I can’t help but to notice a very common bottom-line…
We put ourselves first.
Before you start closing your web browser, hear me out.
Take our professions for example. Bankers, Nurses, Teachers, Store Managers, etc. We are not the first nurses to ever lose sleep, be overworked, and under appreciated on an HOURLY basis. We’re not the first group of educators to grow, develop, and somewhat RAISE everyone else’s children all while trying to remain a sane, patient mind. We are not the only generation to be treated unfairly on a regular basis at our workplace. (bank, office, retail store, etc.)
However, there is one major difference between us and those that bravely entered the field before us…our mindset towards service.
I cannot stress enough, that I am SO included in this. “Look where I went!” (Am I right?)
Our generation struggles with self-identity. We worship ourselves, our image, our children, our families. Almost in a, look what I have created, way. The worst part is that i truly believe that we don’t even notice it’s happening.
Before the oh-glorious internet, nurses were undervalued and often discerned as “helpers”, the expectation of teachers was unrealistic and often ignored. Not much has changed when compared to our world today. But when the school year was ending, and when the shift was over, they didn’t go home publicly post their frustrations for everyone to recognize, they didn’t blog an entire article about how undervalued their profession was, they knew true recognition did not come from their peers, but something higher. Someone higher.
Take a deep breath…this is NOT an attack on nurses and teachers ages 35 and younger. Like I said, I am guilty of self-identification even more than you are. I have an account on every single social media platform ever created. (No joke – have you ever heard of YonderApp? My point.) I am trying to help us become more aware of why we constantly feel distracted, left out, discontent, unsettled, and undervalued. Guys, it’s because we’re seeking value in the incorrect places.
“I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”
Galatians 2:20 ESV
The general purpose of service is to help others without the act directly benefitting yourself. In my opinion, the T R U E purpose of service is to display the greatness of God.
As much as we all want to be happy and strive to achieve happiness, it’s not why we’re here. You weren’t put in the world to make yourself happy. (I’m sorry, I’ll cleanup your busted bubble afterward as I’m cleaning up mine.) It is not all about us. It’s about God. It’s about service. It’s about putting other people before yourself in an attempt to display to them the Lord’s never-ending love for them.
We don’t need recognition from a patients family, we don’t need to prove to our students parents how hard we worked to get their child to this point. God knows, He lives in you. You are recognized for every-single small act of service you do, whether no other person notices or not. He notices, and that is all that matters.
Help us to grasp the concept of dying to ourselves. Open our eyes to Your greatness that is all around us. I pray that we all become more aware of Your grace no matter how, big or small. Direct our hearts to the path of service and not acceptance. God bless the nurses and teachers throughout the world. Although society turns their hearts away from the glorious work these men & women perform, we know that you always notice. Father we thank you for always opening our eyes to what truly matters. In your son’s name I pray.