The Happy Servant
“Now that you know this truth, how happy you will be if you put it into practice!”
John 13:17 (GNB)
When you feel bad about your situation, do you decide to go shopping or to treat yourself in some way?
Retail therapy is the idea that you can lift your spirits by indulging yourself through buying something special just for you. It’s come under the scrutiny of a recent research project conducted by New York University. The findings are interesting. In the long run we are likely to feel worse about ourselves, and also we may lose our judgment and self-control as we impulse buy outside our normal budget.
A suggestion made by the researchers is that it would be better to develop a skill or to improve one’s education instead of resorting to retail therapy.
It’s an entertaining discussion. What do you do when you’re disappointed or when you feel down? How do you boost your happiness?
Jesus made a suggestion. Some of his friends had come with him to share a meal together. Their sandaled feet were tired and a little dirty from the dusty roads. Jesus told them to sit down, and then he got a basin of water with which he washed their feet. It must have felt good for them – refreshing, in fact. Typically a servant in a household would have been paid to wash the feet of the guests, but Jesus chose to do it himself. That was the context of the scripture above, just before he was led away to his crucifixion. He set for us an example of serving others at one of the most difficult times in his life.
Serve others, was his message. If you do this, Jesus explained, you’ll be happy.
Of course, it’s not that we should never do anything to cheer ourselves up, but…the next time you’re down in the dumps, perhaps think about doing something good for someone else.
Let’s help others.
Loving Father, thank you for the example of service Jesus set us, and help us to follow him by leading a life of service towards others. In Jesus’ name.
Study by James Henderson
About the Author:
James Henderson is the National Ministry Leader for Grace Communion International in the UK and Ireland. You are welcome to attend any of our local congregations. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.wcg.org.uk under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.