“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” – Philippians 2:4
I hold the phone closer to my ear, straining to hear the little voice on the other end. “I miss you, David,” she says. “I miss you, too.” As I say goodbye, I can’t help but think back to the day I packed to leave for my summer internship with The Church at Greer Station (TCGS) through Summer LINK. I remember my little sister running up, hugging me around my knees, and saying “I’m gonna miss you, David.” “I’m gonna miss you, too.” I said. And I have missed her and the rest of my family very dearly.
After I hang up, I think about how great it would be to be back home with all of them. To see them and hug them would be much better than simply hearing their voice through a telephone. The more I think about it, the more I think that I have a right to spend the summer with my family. And I do have the right to spend time with my family. So, why am I interning with TCGS for the summer and not staying home? Why am I spending two months of my summer three and a half hours from my family?
Well, having everything that is within your rights is not what the Christian life is all about.
As Philippians 2:4 tells us, sometimes Christian service requires you to give up what is rightfully yours for the sake of “the interests of others.” Some may say that giving up time with your family is a big sacrifice. Yet, when I look at verses like Mark 10:29-30, (Jesus said “Truly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or lands, for my sake and for the gospel, who will not receive a hundredfold now in this time, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions, and in the age to come eternal life.”) I don’t think of it as a very big sacrifice at all. In fact, it seems more like a good trade.
But, all of that doesn’t really answer the question. Why I am interning? The reason I am interning this summer is for the people that I have a chance to minister to here in Greer. Whether they be at TCGS, at the workplace, or just randomly around town, I ultimately gave up my summer to impact people with the love of Christ and seeing God work among the people of Greer has definitely been worth it.
Is there something that you could give up to enable you to better serve Christ and serve others this month?