Jesus not only commands us to serve, but openly stated that He came not to be served, but to serve. And then ... He modeled service for us!
The truth is, that when we are either lost or carnal, our service is directed toward ourselves ... SELF-service. Only through the power of the Holy Spirit can we truly be what God wants us to be as servants, ready to lay down our own SELF-ish desires and do things that bless and help others. One of the most challenging statements in Scripture is found in I John 4:20 ... "If anyone says, 'I love God,' and hates his brother, he is a liar; for he who does not love his brother whom he has seen cannot love God whom he has not seen."
Wait! Weren't we talking about service? How did we get here? Think about it ... how did Jesus SHOW his love for us? Did he not SERVE? Was His service not SELF-less, rather than SELF-ish? His service was demonstrated as He willingly laid down the glory of heaven and took on our form to come as one of us, own nothing, wash the feet of His disciples ... and ultimately as He allowed himself to be crucified.
So ...when I'm insisting on my own way (yes, even within the body we call church) am I showing SELF-lessness or SELF-ishness? If I won't budge on my own preferences so that others might be reached or encouraged, am I serving? Oh yes ... we are serving ... either SELF or OTHERS. Think about it ... maybe folks don't know we LOVE them because we refuse to SERVE them! Want to know if you're loving like God loves? Examine where your service is targeted! If it is to others, Jesus is pleased and is visible in you! And your SELFLESSNESS is showing! If not ...