Lose yourself in the service of others

April 17th, 2018

On April 20, 1974, President Richard Nixon declared the first National Volunteer Week. Since then April has come to be recognized as National Volunteer Month. People are encouraged to seek out opportunities for service in their communities, and organizations recognize volunteers for their commitment to worthy causes and persons in need. As stated by Nixon in his original proclamation, “The spirit of voluntarism [is] one of the hallmarks of American life,” and throughout the month of April, volunteers are honored for their efforts.

Benefits of volunteerism

In addition to the benefits to society, studies show that people who volunteer experience health benefits such as a longer lifespan, less disease, and a decreased risk of dementia. Involvement in community service provides social interaction, which improves brain function and lowers a person’s risk for depression. Volunteering also fosters strong bonds and attachments between individuals as they work together, improving a person’s overall mental health and providing an increased sense of purpose and meaning. While our primary motivation to volunteer should be to help others, the physical, social and emotional benefits are certainly welcome perks.

God’s people, our responsibility

One primary theme throughout the Bible is our responsibility to help others in need. Just as Jesus made the ultimate sacrifice for the benefit of those who believe in him, we are called to make sacrifices to share Christ’s love with others. As Jesus said in Luke 12:48b, “Much will be demanded from everyone who has been given much, and from the one who has been entrusted with much, even more will be asked.” Therefore, the more we receive financially, the more God calls us to give away. The more time we have in our schedule, the more time we have to offer help to others. God equips each one of us with a variety of skills. We are called to use those skills to serve others.

Question of the day: When has an irresponsible word or action caused you trouble?
Focal scriptures: James 3:1-12; Galatians 6:1-10; Deuteronomy 15:7-11

For a complete lesson on this topic visit LinC.

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