Proverbs 11:25 teaches us, “Those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed.” We think it’s like young kids in line for the water fountain, where one kid is so thirsty that he’s fighting to get to the front to get a drink to refresh himself. That’s how we approach life a lot of the time. We think to ourselves, I’m thirsty! I’ve got to focus on me. I’ve got to get to the front of the line so I can get a drink. But Proverbs tells us God works differently. God says, if you refresh others, I will personally guarantee your own refreshment.
When I have felt seasons of depression try to creep in, my natural tendency was to stay home, close the blinds, and focus on me. But I found that depression broke off when I made up my mind to serve someone every day. I came alive when I got out of the selfie-syndrome dip and chose to prefer others.
On the night of the last supper. Jesus and his disciples had gathered together for one final meal. They were celebrating Passover. But this one would be different. Shortly after this meal, Jesus would go to the cross and die to pay for the sins of mankind. The disciples were oblivious. Usually, there would be someone there to wash everyone’s feet. But there wasn’t that night. All of the disciples walked in and made their way to the table. They all would have passed the water basin on the way to their seat at the table. But none of them volunteered to wash feet.
Jesus gives communion to them and explains how the bread represents his body that will be broken for them and the cup represents his blood that will be shed for them. Immediately, they ask Jesus, which of them is the greatest. Seriously? With all the emotion in Jesus telling them he must die, and they want to ask him which of them is the greatest. When you’re more concerned with your seat at the table, you will miss what Jesus is trying to teach you.
Jesus would get up from the table and wash the feet of each disciple. They couldn’t believe it. Jesus had a seat at the table, but he was willing to get up from the table to serve others. And then tells them, and us, to do the same. Let’s not focus on our seat at the table. Let’s focus on getting up from the table to serve others as Jesus has directed us to.
Maybe it’s time for you to get up from the table and get involved in serving at a church. Or for some of you, maybe it’s time to lead a small group for other people to be able to come to Jesus. What about signing up to serve in some capacity with your city or to go on a missions trip? See people the way Jesus sees them and find a way to serve them in your city. Jesus served us and was giving us a pattern. He said, “What I have done for you, I want you to do for others.” Serve others. Add value, period. And you watch as you begin to experience true fulfillment in loving people to Jesus.