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Want to thrive? Serve!

Overboard Blog

Living the extraordinary life of faith!

Want to thrive? Serve!

Joseph Castaneda

Sometimes when you blog, you sit down and think you have a brilliant piece that will change the landscape of human history. Other times you are just hoping you don’t sound like a total dolt! Most of the time you are trying to express some profound idea you had in the flicker of a moment between prepping for work and figuring out what you’re going to do for lunch. And still other times, your 16-year-old son gives you all the material you need.


AJ and I are reading through the Bible in a year. We are using the YouVersion Bible app to track our progress and record our comments. A few weeks ago we were reading Mark 10 and we came across these words of Jesus: “Not so with you, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many.”


I love my son’s comments about servanthood:


“The concept for humans to become servants is such a hard thing to grasp. Servitude has never been seen as a good thing, but Jesus said that in order to be first we must be last. We have to become servants to thrive.”


What a great statement: if we want to thrive we must learn to serve!


On the night He was betrayed, Jesus set the bar high by setting an example that we might follow. After dinner, He took off his coat and wrapped a towel around His waist while He washed the feet of His disciples. Why? Because they had nasty dirty feet? For sure! But even more, listen to what He says: “‘Do you understand what I have done for you? You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done…now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them’” (John 13:12-17).


“The concept for humans to become servants is such a hard thing to grasp...[but] we have to become servants to thrive.”
— AJ Castaneda

I think my son summed up the words of Jesus, well. If you want to thrive in this life, learn to serve others first. This life isn’t about you, and it’s certainly not about me. This life is about our Savior, and the greatest thing you can do with your life is to use it to serve Him by serving others. If you want to experience the greatest blessing of knowing God, then spend your life in service!

Leaf raking.jpeg

Serve God today, by serving the people He has placed in your path. Make a plan to serve that overbearing boss or annoying co-worker. Be intentional about serving your husband or wife or those very ungrateful children that can’t seem to find the dishwasher with their dirty dishes. Serve your pastor or the difficult sheep in your congregation. Serve your mail carrier or garbage collector with a gift of appreciation. Serve your employees with joy or serve that snobbish customer with grace and a smile despite their unreasonable demands. Serve the homeless man holding a sign on the corner or serve the gazillionaire who seems above it all. Whatever you do today, serve.


And as you make service your mantra, your way of life, you will begin to experience the blessing that Jesus spoke about in Mark 10, and you will thrive!


Go ahead and take the plunge, life is better on the water!