“Refuse no one the good on which he has a claim when it is in your power to do it for him. Say not to your neighbor, “Go, and come again tomorrow I will give, when you can give at once.” (Prov. 3:27-28).

Author John Maxwell teaches about how the happiest people don’t always appear to be the most worldly successful. Dr. Maxwell observes that when success is measured by the daily amount of value someone adds to others, overall joy increases (from his message, How to Have your Best Year Ever, January 3, 2019).

Before accepting or declining an invitation to serve others, I factor convenience, sweat equity, and time commitment into the equation. Sometimes, I use spiritual sounding embellishment such as, “Thank you for asking. I’ll pray about this ministry and let you know.” Seeking wise counsel is important. Over calculating excuses as a delay to avoid depleting my comfort levels is selfishly unwise.

Being a bridge sometimes means being walked all over, but if I want to develop credibility as a Christ follower, I need to disregard my hobby approach to serving others. Opening today’s service door could build tomorrow’s bridge, even when an invitation may be inconvenient or scary to step into new arenas.

In my writing business, my schedule includes multiple deadlines, speaking engagements, and occasional author conferences. Sometimes, without warning, an editor offers me a job I’ve previously requested. The timing of that job may not be according to my plan, yet I can’t imagine candidly answering the editor, “Thank you for this project contract, but could I get back to you after I think about it?” The editor is asking me to use my writing gifts and resources to supply the publication’s current needs.

As a professional Christian in training, every time I’m called to live my values in the way Proverbs 3:27-28 instructs I serve the world with integrity. Showing surpasses telling. To stand up for my beliefs, I need to consistently engage backbone that strengthens my core character.

Jesus, thank You for faithfully meeting my daily requirements. Thank You for servants who positively respond when I ask for their assistance. As people reach out with requests, encourage me to wisely and willingly meet their need. Open my heart to intentionally listen and look for ways to add value to others.

From a lily pad that supports a servant in training, Christina

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