Service Is Spiritual?

One must have a spiritual perspective of service. Knowing what to do and being able to do it are only 2/3rds of the equation. We are motivated to do, or not to do, based on whether or not we think it is right or wrong.

We are more than what we know, or what we feel, or what we think. Defining who you are (and the levels of service that you are willing to provide) includes the sum of at least three interactive components:
mind body spirit T.J. the person, therefore, is the sum of his learning, how functional his body is and how advanced his spirit is. And, T.J. ‘s offerings of service are the sum of his intellectual perspective on service (mind), his spriritual perspective of service (spirit), and his ability to physically perform services (body). Obviously environmental factors affect and shape each of these components as well.

For the purposes of this blog, we’re going to assume that one is physically capable of performing good service and has a firm intellectual grasp of what good service is and question spiritual influences.

Pastor Jason Byars at the Coastline Community Church has a way of involving everyone in the sanctuary in his sermons, which are based on biblical scriptures and generously spiked with references to them. On a recent Sunday morning he ran off a string of things that fit Galatians 5:14. Quoted from my Living Bible, “For the whole Law can be summed up in this one command: ‘Love others as you love yourself’. “ The one that hit me like a George Foreman body punch was, “…it’s the best business model…”

So what motivated a preacher to advocate adopting the posture of a servant and loving others as you love yourself as a business model? Is it that he knows that’s what Jesus did and what we should aspire to? Is it that he does the same thing in his ministry? Is it because he understands this as an immutable law of the universe? I think yes.

Read Chapter 67 in the Tao Teh Ching. Lao Tsu advocates the same thing for Taoists. He holds and protects three treasures: Benevolence, frugality and never trying to be number 1. The idea of not trying to be #1 is anathema to “successful” people today. The value of the Tao’s treasures is that you can have them now and keep them forever.

Hindus have a similar perspective. “At death, those who have developed the mode of goodness, will go to the higher planets where the saintly persons live. Those who have developed the mode of passion will take birth among those engaged in materialistic activities. Those who have developed the mode of ignorance, will take birth in the animal kingdom.”(Lord Krishna, Bhagavad-Gita 14.14-15). Those who are intelligent will work hard to make a living but they will also gain some spiritual knowledge so eventually they gain enough to go back to the spiritual abode where we live in the same beautiful body. That is eternal, full of bliss, and full of knowledge.

Paul from the Christians’ Bible, Lao Tsu from the Taoists’ Tao Teh Ching, and Lord Krishna from the Hindu’s Bhagavad-Gita advocated assuming the posture of a servant as a way of life. For what reason? It was the same for all of them, to fare better in this life and future ones.

I aspire to following Pastor Byar’s advice, though I don’t always reach the mark.

Common sense (from the spiritual component of Christians, Hindus and Taoist at least) seems to dictate that we adopt the posture of a servant in service to our clients to fare better in the present and hereafter, and to stay out of hell or coming back as a jackal or javelina.