Today's guest post comes from Eritrea Ghebrehiwet, a member of the STSA Church family in Arlington, VA. In today's post, Eritrea challenges us to consider the consequence/reward of small acts of love and service. She shares her own story about how the actions of others impacted her spiritual journey and might also have saved her life. You can follow her on Facebook and Instagram and if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
"For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a SERVANT TO ALL, that I might win the more;" 1 Corinthians 9:19
What would our days look like if we sought opportunities to serve others? How would our personal, communal and global world change if all Christians persistently looked for ways to sacrifice themselves for others just like our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did?
What if, with every thought and action we have concerning ourselves, we attached another person's needs to our own? As a husband and wife are bound and instructed to think of and serve each other daily, what if we ‘married’ our thoughts and actions to at least one other person?
Revolutionary? No. This is would be the essence of being a Christian. This is the defining characteristic of Jesus Christ. Sacrificial love!
"...just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to SERVE, and to give His life a ransom for many.” Matthew 20:28
Personally, if it wasn’t for another Orthodox Christian’s loving-kindness and completely non-judgmental attitude towards me on a consistent basis, I would have probably taken my own life a few years ago out of utter despair.
I left the Eritrean Orthodox faith in 2011, converted to Islam and after 3 years, I was an atheist for 2.5 years. Then, out of desperation and loneliness, I turned to agnosticism until God used another believer (who by the way only contacted me to forgive me for something from years ago) to bring me back to Him. If this believer didn’t answer his call from God - to forgive me - I don’t know where I'd be today.
If ever we should forget or overcomplicate the purpose of confessing Christianity as our faith, all we have to do is look to the cross. He died for our salvation. We should die daily for the salvation of others. Dying daily to the desires of our flesh could prevent someone else from taking their own life.
Serving others with a pure heart softens their hearts. Your consideration and kindness towards someone else could save them from feeling alone, from despair, from stereotyping Christians, from feelings of unworthiness and even from suicide. You never know what someone is going through.
God had SO much compassion for us that He descended to our level to feel our pain, experience and struggle with our temptations, enjoy the fruits of His faith and goods works and ultimately submit to the will of God to free us all from the chains of death.
How Christ-like are we willing to be everyday of every hour we are graced by God?
I'll leave you with words from a book called Mystery and Meaning Christian Philosophy and Orthodox Meditations written by our beloved brother Gebre Menfes Kidus:
TO SEEK and to SEE GOD. If we will truly seek God, then we will see God in every person, in every circumstance, and in every experience.
"And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’" Matthew 25:40