Love Service and Joy
St Paul reminded me that, “if I give all my possessions [my talent, my money, my time] to feed the poor, and if I surrender my body to be burned, but do not have love [for the person in front of me that I am serving with my work], it profits me nothing [no joy, no rest, no peace] (1 Corinthians 13:3, NASB).
I know that work or even volunteerism can be selfish. It may be solely for the advancement of my own interest, without any thought of benefit or comfort to others. Even then there is blessing in it; for it fills my hands and occupies my thoughts—there is good in being occupied in itself. But if I add to the work—the element of serving, with love and thought for others—I have one of the noblest of all the secrets of joy!
Mother Teresa says “The fruit of love is service”. Yes, love that does not serve—is not love at all. If love does not motivate me to serve my fellow-men then it is not love. One of the saddest human sufferings is not to find a way to love and to be of service. All of us have a very deep desire to share and to give. It is innate in our nature to want to be of service to others. It is ingrained into our human culture to be of service to our tribe, community, defence and group. This is normal in a group of not more than 150 people. Our forefathers would not be able to survive in the jungle if not for this service. See how Simon Sinek explains it in https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmyZMtPVodo.
Serving comes from loving; it is love's expression. Serving that is not inspired by love—yields no joy to the individual. Love that will not sacrifice is only a sentiment; no fruit will come from it. Love is ready always for serving. The measure of self-denial that I am ready to suffer—is the measure of the love that is in my heart.
So, what does service with love mean to me? My human nature alone is weak and on my own frail strength I may fail to derive true lasting joy, which is only possible with help from the Holy God. In practical term it means that in whatever I am doing in my work or volunteerism, I do them with a kind heart of:
to the person facing me!!!
The benefits that I would gain from this service of love are joy, peace and true rest of being able to sleep soundly.
Other than work, are there other activities that give us happiness? For some, it is physical activities such as jogging, cycling, walking, swimming, dancing, singing, playing musical instruments. For others, it can be playing with babies or young children, visiting and interacting with family or friends. While others like to read religious books, biographies, memoirs, mystery novels, classics, comic strips. And others enjoy art, music, old movies, comedy movies, drawings, plays, ballet, etc. A sure way to bring joy into our lives is to thank the Lord with a grateful heart. A heart that is full of gratitude cannot be depressed. It will be great for our own wellbeing if we can give ourselves regular daily doses of this essential “vitamin J.” And happiness is temporary, depending very much on circumstances!