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Who is someone you like to do things for? Why?
We are all slaves. We may not see it this way, but everyone who is truly happy is slave to someone else - or, more likely, to a group of people.
Humans are created to live in relationship. One of the most dire situations in our world today is loneliness. Loneliness causes depression. Loneliness causes illness. Loneliness causes a broken heart and spirit. Social commentators, psychologists, sociologists and medical doctors call it the “epidemic of loneliness” and clear statistics show that it is killing us.
But we have been sold on the dream of personal independence. We have been told that we will be happy when we have enough money for our own retirement, enough space to live the way we want, enough time to do our own thing, enough personal freedom to make it through a whole day without being interrupted by the needs of anyone else - that, they say, is the goal.
But. It. Is. Not.
We have become slaves to self. Build self-worth, live by self-driven goals, achieve self-focused financial freedom, protect yourself from those who would invade your personal time and space. And we are dying alone.
We were created to live in relationship. Today’s passage shows the lifestyle of a Christian. It is others focused. This Christ-centred lifestyle brings interdependence, common purpose and goals, togetherness, and freedom to serve happily. Sharing conversation, goals, purpose, money, time and space with those we love is the answer to the epidemic loneliness.
As Christians, Paul says, we all serve. Wives serve husbands. Husbands serve wives. Children serve parents. Parents serve children. Slaves serve masters. It’s all done in the same spirit - the spirit of Jesus living in us. We serve each other because we all serve Jesus Christ. In fact, serving others is serving Christ.
Serving is living God’s way. And because we were created in His image, serving is living our way. When we serve willingly, we find joy and purpose in life. We were created to be complete in community.
Slaves, serve your masters wholeheartedly, enthusiastically as if for the Lord. And you will find joy!
Testimonies for the Church 1:497-510