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Ideas to Read and Pass Along

Kevin & Jackie Freiberg

Service or Self-Interest

If the people you work with were weighing in, which side of the continuum would they put you on?

Self-interest Masquerading As Service is calculated and programmatic. It expends a lot of effort and looks more like grinding gears.

Authentic Service…

…is a calling. It is rarely ever easy, but almost always looks effortless.

Self-interest Masquerading As Service is impressed with making a “big splash.” It engages only when the opportunities are huge and the potential gain is colossal.

Authentic Service…

…is indiscriminate. It finds it difficult to distinguish the small opportunities from the large ones. Authentic service is often drawn to the small opportunities, not out of false humility, but rather because the need is real and addressing the need is real important.

Self-interest Masquerading As Service is concerned with visibility, it needs to know that people are watching. Self-interest often portrays a veneer of false humility, but deep down craves the recognition and applause of others.

Authentic Service…

…is content to serve behind the curtain. It is not afraid of, or shy about, being in the spotlight, but it doesn’t seek to be there. The joy of serving in and of itself and the unseen, real applause from Heaven is quite sufficient.

Self-interest Masquerading As Service is transactional, it serves, but with an eye toward the future to see if there can be some gain from engaging. Sometimes it serves the rich and famous and powerful for what it can get in return. Sometimes it serves the poor and lowly and defenseless to build a humble reputation. When self-interest serves the powerful, it often waits impatiently, to see if the person served will return the favor. When the expectations of self-interest are not met it becomes angry and resentful.

Authentic Service…

…is unconditional. It has no need for reciprocity. Whether it’s an enemy, an aristocrat or someone with no means to reciprocate, authentic service is free.

Self-interest Masquerading As Service is influenced by conditions, emotions and the price of sugar in China, it serves only when it feels like it.

Authentic Service…

…knows that the “feeling to serve” is often dictated by impulsive highs that rapidly fade.It engages regardless of the mood because there is a need and service is a calling.

Self-interest Masquerading As Service is episodic. Influenced by impulsive whims and calculated strategy, it operates in an “on-again—off-again” way.

Authentic Service…

is an orientation, a way of life. Influenced by a calling, it spontaneously gravitates to wherever it can fill a void or meet a need.

Self-interest Masquerading As Service is insensitive. It bullies its way in and demands an opportunity to play whether it is welcome or not.

Authentic Service…

…is perceptive and aware. It understands that serving sometimes means waiting patiently before engaging. While it is oriented to serve, it doesn’t have to.

Self-interest Masquerading As Service is in love with self. When the masquerade is exposed it comes down to one thing—it’s all about ME. This subtle form of manipulation and abuse destroys trust, shatters community and leaves dead people working everywhere.

Authentic Service…

…loves others, because in others it sees the image of God. There is no masquerade, only a quiet, unassuming desire to serve that cultivates trust, builds community and leaves people more alive!

So, Where Do You Reside?

When you were born you cried and the world rejoiced,

Live in such a way that when you die you rejoice and the world cries!

American Indian Wisdom

Do you have a spirit of service? Find out.