christian service is rooted in love, as a response to the love of God toward us. it takes many forms.

in our culture, money is one of the central ways we denominate value. a life of christian service, in our culture, for all but the poorest, will include the giving away of some amount of material prosperity to others. the episcopal church says that the tithe—ten percent—is the minimum standard of christian giving. one can give to one's church, to relief efforts. rarely is it hard to find sensible recipients of one's gift, and it is too easy to get hung up on percentages and finding just the right recipient, all the while never actually giving anything away.

giving money can also be a crutch. giving of our time and expertise is equally important. and while we do not all have money to give, we do all have time. volunteer at a soup kitchen. sign up to work for the red cross. read books to people in nursing homes. teach a child to read.

service is not just about so-called charity work. service includes the nurturing of healthy and life-giving creative relationships with our friends, our family, and our colleagues. we must devote ourselves to the task of making their lives just a little bit easier and a little bit richer.

our own selves are gifts God has given us, and we do not serve others if we do not also love our own self. take care of your body, and of your spirit.

rarely is it difficult for people who want to devote themselves to service to locate opportunities. but it is so very easy to delay ever actually helping another person by endless fretting about whom to help and how.

pages on christian life: