“He that blesseth his friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning, it shall be counted a curse to him.” (Proverbs 27:14).
The communion of the saints is a wonderful thing. Feeling the care and spiritual encouragement of one’s church family, especially in times of grief or spiritual struggle, is a great blessing and comfort to the Child of God. God did not mean for us to walk this pilgrimage alone. As it is written in Ecclesiastes 4:10, “woe to him that is alone when he falleth; for he hath not another to help him up.” The unity of the body of Christ is a good and beautiful thing.
However, we must search our hearts so that our good deeds towards our brothers and sisters don’t become a source of pride on our own part. In Proverbs 27, Solomon writes of a man who wakes up early to bless his friend “with a loud voice.” This man may be “blessing his friend,” but the manner in which he is doing it indicates that he actually cares less about the wellbeing of the friend and more about the approval of his peers. Just like the public prayers of the Pharisees, this “act of goodness” is a show, meant to make his friend and all those who would hear his “blessing” aware of his “goodness” and see him in a better light. The man is not motivated by love, but by his own pride.
When we serve one another in the church we must take heed that we are actually looking to serve Christ and our neighbor, not our own selves. When we bring a meal to a family in need our intent must not be that other people think we are “so caring” or a great cook. When we help each other out, or give a card of encouragement it must not be for the sake of looking like a better person. Our humility before God is a serious matter, for “every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord (Proverbs 16:5).”
The goal of your service in the Church is ultimately that you “serve Him [the LORD] in truth with all your heart: for consider how great things He hath done for you.” When we recognize Who God is and how unworthy we are to be called His children, we are filled with fear and awe. That recognition is what gives us humility in our own weakness, and thankfulness and joy in doing God’s will, for His own pleasure. The more we realize just who God is and what He has done, the more able we are to truly put on the heart of a servant. May we ever conform ourselves more and more to His will and image!