The value of humble service

Written by Darin Kinder
Published on July 03, 2020

We are living in difficult times. 

Global pandemics, economic uncertainty, and racial strife make for a daunting three-headed monster. 

Many people in our society feel anxious, uncertain, and unsafe. Phrases such as: “be safe” and “stay safe” have become repetitive mantras in our minds. And yet, there are groups of public servants who choose to daily enter this unsafe realm. 

Individuals in law enforcement, fire fighters, EMT’s, nurses, doctors, and other health care professionals bravely face the realities of today. Military service members, teachers, and even members of the food service industry are put at risk. 

All of these men and women have earned our honor and respect. 

Highlight the value of service

What makes these brave men and women willfully choose to enter into danger and uncertainty? 

The obvious answer is that they possess a servant’s heart with a desire to serve something greater than themselves. 

As Christian parents, it is our duty to instill within our children the value of humble service for a greater good. That doesn’t necessarily mean we should exclusively funnel our children to the aforementioned professions. 

However, we can highlight the value of service as found in the Bible and elevate the acts or professions of service we witness in our society. 

Is he safe?

First, let’s address the “be safe” mindset. 

As parents we can be reluctant to encourage our children into a dangerous profession of service. It’s not what we want to hear, but this is an unsafe world. 

As humans, we are a rebellious race that has caused significant pain and suffering. Even God himself is not safe. CS Lewis addressed this truth beautifully in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe

In the story, Susan is about to meet Aslan (Lewis’ Christ figure) and she is worried because he is a powerful lion. Susan asks Mr. Beaver if Aslan is safe. Mr. Beaver replies: “Safe? Who said anything about safe? ‘Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King.” 

We can build up our children on the foundation that God is good and his promises are real! Jesus was clear: “In the world you will have tribulation, but take courage; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). 

A handcrafted design

This world needs brave, Jesus-loving men and women who choose to be the light of Christ in our present darkness. It needs men and women fulfilling their God-given purpose and actively serving their community as modeled by Christ. 

Our need brings to mind one of my favorite quotes from Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “Being a Christian is less about cautiously avoiding sin, than about courageously and actively doing God’s will.” 

Ephesians 2:1–10 is a beautiful encapsulation of the Christian gospel and reminds us of who we are (children of wrath), what we deserve (death), what we became instead (alive together and seated with Christ), how we got there (salvation through faith), and what we must do now (good works). 

Paul writes that we are masterpieces created by God for good works and that those works come as a result of the saving grace bestowed upon us by Jesus. 

Each one of us is uniquely gifted to bring the light of Christ into our sphere of influence. Each one of our children is a hand crafted precision arrow of compassion, designed by God to strike at the heart of pain and suffering in this world. 

Our purpose might not be safe, but it is good

Love in action

Compassion is God’s love in action. 

It is a reflection of the grace we have been given through Jesus and our desire to share it with others. 

We must reinforce the truth of this within our children: grace was not earned but given. We need to encourage our young ones to be humble at heart. 

Philippians 2:3–4 describes our call: “Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interest, but also to the interests of others.” 

The greatest generation

Last June, I had the immense honor of being on the beaches of Normandy, France for the 75 anniversary of the D-Day invasion. 

D-Day was the critical turning point in the European theater of World War II. Once the Allied forces established their beachhead, it was game over for the Nazis. Strategists at the time, and historians today, agree that after D-Day it was only a matter of time. 

But the space between D-Day and the surrender of Nazi Germany was brutal. Thousands of lives were lost and cities destroyed. The outcome was determined but pain and suffering continued until the final surrender. 

The brave men and women from that period are often referred to as “the greatest generation.” We can point to them as examples of selfless service. 

Ambassadors of light

We live “in the space between.” 

We live in the era between Jesus’ resurrection from the dead and his return, the turning point of the human race. 

When Jesus uttered his last words: “It is finished,” he defeated death and the problem of sin. Simply put, it was game over for the enemy. 

And one day, he will return, creating a new heaven and a new earth. Pain and suffering will cease, every knee will bow, and every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord. 

We live on this side of the cross, between the resurrection and his return. But in that space between, we will all experience turmoil, pain, suffering, and joy. 

We have been chosen by God to be his ambassadors of light. 

We are called to raise our sons and daughters to humbly serve our communities in their endeavors. When they choose a servant’s heart, then they will find joy and peace in the humble honor of being used by God—for his purpose—for his glory. 

It won’t be easy. It certainly won’t be safe. But our sons and daughters can carry the torch of Christian service into the future. 

Perhaps they will become the next “greatest generation.” 

Press on!

Live perfectly imperfect

Get daily emails with practical and spiritual advice geared towards helping you set aside perfect and grow into the parent you want to be every day.

Darin Kinder

Darin Kinder is a former high school history teacher and is currently a Special Agent with the United States Secret Service. For his actions on 9/11, Darin was awarded the Secret Service Medal of Valor. Darin lives with his wife and four sons in the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

Read more about Darin

You may also like…

Privacy Preference Center