If its not to much trouble can you help me out with something? If it’s not to inconvenient can you do me a favor?. Or do we say “sorry to bother you” Why do people ask this question. Why do we answer it. When we ask this question we have given the person we are asking and out on providing service. Have you been asked this question? How have you answered it? Do you think to yourself “well yes it is to inconvenience or yes it is to much trouble” have you ever asked you self why that is even a consideration for the service you are being asked to supply?
The fact is serving other IS NOT convenient, and IT IS trouble often taking us away from other things we wish to be doing. All of us are limited in our capacity to service to one extent or another. God has not asked us to serve others only when it is not trouble, when it does not bother us, when it is convenient. He has asked us to serve others. Period.
Mosiah 2:17 reads “ 17 And behold, I tell you these things that ye may learn awisdom; that ye may learn that when ye are in the bservice of your cfellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.”
You will notice this scripture does not say, “when ye are in the service of your fellow beings, providing it is convenient or not to much trouble” ye are only in the service of your God. So why do we as a culture only provide service when it’s convenient or not to much trouble, or with a what’s in it for me attitude. This is a pandemic of selfishness and greed that invades our society like a cancer. As a result of reluctant service to others, people are often concerned when they ask for help that it is to much to ask of others.
Often when we ask for help or favors it is with the idea that the other does not want to so we use words like “if its not to much trouble”, “if its OK with you” When we ask for help I believe it is not rude to say. “I have this problem and needs some help, can you help me out” Or “Are you available on this day and time, I need assistance with this thing” OR “Would you be able to provide this service for me so that I am able to go and do this or that.” These types of questions are not rude or imposing and give the one we are asking the options to say yes or no. Directly giving them the opportunity to provide service not only blesses others but helps us as well. If when we are asked for help by others and we honestly cannot provide the said service we can say “I’m sorry but I am unable to do that at this time” if we can we should say so with enthusiasm and with energy and provide that service.
There are numerous examples out there of people and companys providing service to others when it is needed. There motives are clear in how they provide the service. In southern Alberta early this year there was some very serious flooding that left people homeless and businesses ruined. It cost millions of dollars to clean up the mess. The local cable company was out in the community freely handing out food, water and other essential supply’s to the victims of this disaster. There was no public advertising about what they were doing, they just got in there vans, loaded them with supply’s and went and served the community no questions asked and without regard for who they were serving. Volunteers from across the country who worked for the company came in from all areas to assist those in need. By contrast other company’s who provided service did so as well, but also bragged about it in news, print media, commercials, and with catch phrases like “we give where we live”. Stores hung banners advertising how much they have done for charity and other acts of service. The cable company did none of this. While it did make news media there was never advertising about what they were doing. The motives of one company over another are clear. One advertises there good deeds looking for the praise of man, the other just acts and provides service because they believe in being a good corporate citizen and helping those in need.
When we provide service we need to do so with the right motivations. We do not do so for the praise of man. We provide service because it is the right thing to do. We provide service because we have within us the spirit of Christ and a willingness to help those in need. My wifes Aunt is an exzample of selfless service. She has provide service for our family on countless ocassions without thought of reward. Often without being asked. She simply offers where she sees a need and does so without expecting a reward.
James 1:27 says “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” If we are to live the religion we profess then it is our duty to serve others where needed. Not just the widows and fatherless but everyone who needs help in what ever manner it may be.
In mosiah from the book of mormon, a group of new converts to the church were preparing to be baptized into the church of God. They had be converted to the gospel and we ready to be baptized.
Mosiah 18:8-9 it states “8 And it came to pass that he said unto them: Behold, here are the waters of Mormon (for thus were they called) and now, as ye are adesirous to come into the bfold of God, and to be called his people, and are willing to bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light;
9 Yea, and are awilling to mourn with those that bmourn; yea, and comfort those that stand in need of comfort, and to stand as cwitnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the dfirst resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—
Before they could be baptized it had to be confirmed that they were prepared to provide service, assitance, and support to those in need. When we are baptized we take upon us this convenant to servce others, not out of convience, or for our own selfish ends but because that is what God expects of us.
We should not, when considering service, do so only when convienient or not to much trouble. We as brothers and sisters in christ should joyfully accept oppurtunitys to provide service in any capacity we can. Weather convient or not. Providing service will never be convient. It will never free from burdens or trouble. Its not about that. Its about loving your fellow man and God. It’s about comforting those that stand in need of comfort. Its about mourning with thost that morn. Its about helping those in need. Whoever they may be, whatever there needs may be.
Lets stop thinking in terms of ourselves and start thinking in terms of others and less of ourselves.